Marlins 5, Mets 1

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MIAMI, Fla. (AP)—Josh Johnson didn’t let who he was pitching against affect his confidence.

The 6-foot-7 rookie outpitched Pedro Martinez and had a career-high eight strikeouts to lead the Florida Marlins to their fourth straight victory, 5-1 over the New York Mets on Friday night.

Johnson (4-2) allowed two hits and an unearned run over seven innings in his longest outing for the Marlins (15-31).

“It was exciting to share the mound with him,” Johnson said. “Then I thought, `Well, I’m here, I might as well do it.’ I knew I had to throw pretty well to get a win. I can always say I pitched against him when he got his first loss of 2006.”

It was the Mets’ first look at Johnson.

“He had pretty good stuff and he’s a big kid,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “We had him on the ropes early but we got a little impatient when we could have made him work a little bit more. When you don’t swing the bat, you look flat.”

Martinez (5-1) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings, striking out 10. It was the 108th time the three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out at least 10.

“You can’t give up a lot of runs against him because you know you’re not going to get a lot,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said of Martinez. “Johnson was outstanding. The kid throws strikes and stays ahead in the count.”

Martinez had retired 10 consecutive batters when Mike Jacobs led off the seventh with a single. Miguel Cabrera and Josh Willingham followed with singles to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead. Martinez got out of the inning when Jeremy Hermida grounded into a fielder’s choice, Reggie Abercrombie struck out and Miguel Olivo flied out.

“It’s difficult to pitch against anybody you don’t know,” said Martinez, referring to the seven rookies in the Marlins’ lineup. “They are good enough to beat us and they are good enough to beat anybody.”

Martinez felt he pitched good enough to win.

“I didn’t lose today. I went out to win and finished the game a winner,” Martinez said. “I did what I was supposed to do for our team to win.”

Florida scored three runs in the eighth off reliever Duaner Sanchez. Dan Uggla’s grounder up the middle caromed off second base to drive in two runs and Jacobs drove in Uggla with a single to left.

“Personally, it was more exciting to beat a team that got rid of you,” said Jacobs, who was traded by the Mets to the Marlins after last season. “Plus, they are the first-place team. That says a lot about us.”

The Mets went ahead 1-0 in the first on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran after a throwing error by catcher Olivo.

The Marlins tied it at 1 on Olivo’s home run over the left field scoreboard in the third.


Marlins OF Chris Aguila was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. … Jacobs was so badly fooled on a first-inning third strike by Martinez that he threw his bat at the ball and it ended up near third base. … Mets 3B David Wright, who missed Friday’s game with back spasms, is expected to play tomorrow. … C Paul Lo Duca and 1B Carlos Delgado returned to Dolphin Stadium for the first time since being traded from the Marlins after last season. … Lo Duca’s third-inning single extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

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