Mets 7, Marlins 6

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NEW YORK (AP)—Chris Woodward gave the New York Mets a lead the bullpen could finally protect.

Woodward hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth after the Mets blew a late three-run lead, and New York held on through a shaky ninth for a 7-6 victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday night.

“Our defense cracked tonight,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “We had plenty of scoring opportunities, again.”

The Marlins left 11 men on base and committed three errors, two by third baseman Mike Lowell in the same inning. The Mets’ struggling bullpen blew a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning and closer Braden Looper put runners on first and second before finishing for his 17th save.

“Anytime you get the tying run in scoring position with none out in the ninth, it gets a little hairy,” said Looper, who gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Delgado.

With the score tied 6-all, Marlon Anderson led off the eighth for the Mets with a double over Florida center fielder Juan Pierre’s head. He advanced on a sacrifice by Ramon Castro and scored on Woodward’s single off Jim Mecir (1-3) to put the Mets back out in front.

“He likes to get ahead with a sinker,” Woodward said. “I didn’t want to let anything go that was over the plate. I know he has a good palmball. He made a good pitch, actually, it was down, but I was able to get a good swing on it.”

Roberto Hernandez (3-2) pitched an inning for the win.

Mike Cameron homered to lead off the seventh and put the Mets ahead 6-3, but New York’s bullpen couldn’t protect it.

The Marlins tied it in the top of the eighth. Paul Lo Duca singled, Juan Encarnacion walked, and Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run double off Aaron Heilman. Gonzalez scored to make it 6-all when, Luis Castillo hit a two-out single that went off Hernandez’s glove.

“I like the way the guys battled back,” McKeon said.

The Marlins got on the board first with back-to-back doubles by Luis Castillo and Miguel Cabrera in the third inning.

In the fourth, New York’s David Wright singled up the middle scoring Cliff Floyd from second to tie it. Wright then stole second, and scored on Anderson’s single to put the Mets up 2-1.

The Marlins retook the lead in the fifth on Lowell’s run-scoring double to right-center and Lo Duca’s RBI single.

Poor fielding cost the Marlins a 3-2 lead in the bottom half. Lowell committed two throwing errors in the inning, allowing the Mets to put two runners on base with only one out.

“You can lay all the blame on one spot,” Lowell said. “That the difference there.”

Cameron followed with an RBI double and Jose Reyes scored on a wild pitch, just touching the plate with his hand before Marlins starter A.J. Burnett applied the tag. Burnett protested the call, and manager McKeon came out to argue as well. Burnett then proceeded to walk Carlos Beltran, hit Floyd with a pitch to load the bases and walk Wright to force in a run. He was then replaced by Nate Bump.

“I just lost my composure,” Burnett said.

While walking to the dugout, Burnett gestured to home plate umpire Randy Marsh and appeared to continue arguing as he left the field.

Mets’ starter Tom Glavine pitched in and out of trouble for five innings. He gave up nine hits, but allowed just three runs as the Marlins stranded eight runners in each of the first five innings.


The Mets optioned OF Victor Diaz to Triple-A Norfolk after the game. … The Marlins did not arrive at their hotel in New York until after 5 a.m. Friday, after playing past midnight Thursday at home against the Braves in a game delayed nearly three hours by rain. … Miguel Cairo, on the DL with a strained hamstring, went 0-for-5 with four flyouts in a rehab game in the Gulf Coast League. He will be activated before Saturday’s game. … Mets CF Beltran batted .198 in June, one of the worst totals in the NL. … The start of the game was delayed 36 minutes by rain. Rain was still falling when Glavine threw the first pitch. … It was Fireworks Night at Shea Stadium.

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