Mets 10, Marlins 1
MIAMI (AP)—Facing baseball’s stingiest pitching staff, Pedro Martinez had the better stuff. By far.
New York won a Martinez-Leiter matchup for the second time in six days. Martinez (2-0) allowed three hits and one run, retiring 13 in a row during one stretch, and snapped the Marlins’ four-game winning streak.
“The game is pretty much over the line when they see a pitcher like me with such a big lead,” Martinez said. “They’re going to try to swing and make something happen. So I made good pitches.”
The drubbing was something new for the Marlins, who gave up no more than four runs in any of their first 15 games. Their team ERA soared from 1.88 to 2.38, still the best in the major leagues.
A crowd of 27,674 had little to cheer about on Al Leiter souvenir poncho night—although there was a chant of “Pedro! Pedro!” by transplanted New Yorkers in the seventh inning. Martinez struck out eight and walked none, giving him 38 strikeouts and four walks in 29 innings.
“There’s an example of a guy who knows how to pitch,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “He wasn’t blowing anybody away. He threw a lot of 86-, 87-, 88-mph fastballs, but he had great location and knew what he was doing with it.”
Martinez hit the low 90s only occasionally, but 64 of his 88 pitches were strikes.
“When I needed a fastball, I could reach back and get a fastball, but I’m wiser now,” he said. “I know when to use it, and I know how to keep them off balance.”
Meanwhile, Leiter struggled. He walked five and hit a batter, and allowed five hits and eight runs in three innings, hiking his ERA from 2.55 to 5.66.
“I was wild enough to create problems, and I threw a bad pitch to Mientkiewicz,” Leiter said. “When you go down 4-1 to Pedro Martinez, you’re not in a good spot.”
Florida gave up a season-high nine walks, leading to five runs. The Mets’ second-inning eruption included three walks, two scratch hits, two other singles, two stolen bases by Cliff Floyd and Mientkiewicz’s slam.
“You give up too many bases on balls to those big bombers, somebody will hurt you,” McKeon said.
Mientkiewicz pulled a 2-2 cutter for his third home run and a 4-1 lead.
“It’s an early Mother’s Day present to my mother,” said Mientkiewicz, who grew up in Miami. “She came tonight, and now she’s going to think it’s all her.”
Mientkiewicz said the grand slam was his first since he hit one for the United States against South Korea in the 2000 Olympics.
The inning was far from over. Victor Diaz walked, took second on a sacrifice and scored on Jose Reyes’ single. After Kaz Matsui singled, Beltran hit a sacrifice fly, and Floyd’s broken-bat single scored the seventh run.
“It was one of those games where nothing went right,” Marlins center fielder Juan Pierre said. “You’re going to have them in 162 games.”
Beltran hit a two-run homer in the fifth off John Riedling, making his Marlins debut after missing the first 2 1/2 weeks of the season with a strained right shoulder.
Two innings later, the Marlins lost another reliever when Antonio Alfonseca walked off the mound with a count of 2-1 on the leadoff batter in the seventh. He complained of elbow soreness and will undergo an MRI on Friday, but he said he doesn’t believe the injury is serious.
Pierre led off the first with a double, took third on a sacrifice and scored on Delgado’s groundout.
Mets LHP Kaz Ishii cut short his throwing session on the side Thursday because of soreness on his left side. He’ll be examined by a doctor Friday but said he might still make his scheduled start Saturday against Washington. … Floyd batted twice in the second, reached each time and then stole second—his first steals this season. … Marlins LHP Dontrelle Willis pinch hit for Leiter in the third and struck out on three pitches. He went 3-for-8 as a pinch hitter last season. … Mientkiewicz improved to .375 (6-for-16) against left-handers.