Marlins 5, Mets 2

Tuesday, May 1st 2007, 9:29 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Josh Willingham drove in a career-high 5 runs and the Florida Marlins made three great defensive plays to stifle the New York Mets in a 5-2 victory Tuesday night.

Ricky Nolasco (1-0) came off the disabled list to allow 1 run and 6 hits in 5 innings for the Marlins. He was 0-3 with a 19.73 ERA in four previous appearances against New York.

Willingham tripled with the bases loaded in the 1st inning and hit a 2-run homer off Aaron Heilman in the 8th after the Mets pulled within 1. Willingham narrowly missed 2 more homers, flying out to the warning track in center twice.

Nolasco was backed by solid defense, especially from center fielder Alfredo Amezaga. Carlos Beltran hit a long fly to center in the 4th, but Amezaga leaped high to catch the drive near the top of the wall.

Amezaga was responsible for the final out of the inning, too. He easily threw out Carlos Delgado trying to score on Paul Lo Duca's single to get Nolasco out of the inning.

The Marlins also turned an unusual double play when the Mets attempted a double steal with runners on 1st and 3rd in the 1st inning. Carlos Delgado took a called third strike and shortstop Hanley Ramirez cut off catcher Miguel Olivo's throw and threw back to the plate to get Jose Reyes.

Lee Gardner, Kevin Gregg and Taylor Tankersley combined to allow 1 run in 3 innings of relief for Florida. With heavy rain falling, former Mets prospect Henry Owens pitched the 9th for his third save and second in two days.

David Wright snapped out of a slump with 3 hits for New York, including his first home run of the season. Wright was 4-35 (.114) in his previous 10 games, including stranding 6 runners in an 0-5 performance in the series opener.

Florida took advantage of Mike Pelfrey's control problems in the 1st inning. Pelfrey hit Dan Uggla with a pitch with 1 out and issued back-to-back walks to Miguel Cabrera and Mike Jacobs to load the bases.

Willingham then sliced a first-pitch fastball into the right-field corner to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead. He was stranded at 3rd when Pelfrey struck out Joe Borchard and got Olivo to pop out.

That was all Florida could manage against Pelfrey (0-3), who allowed 5 hits and struck out 3 in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander had struggled in his previous two starts, giving up 10 runs and 14 hits in 8 innings.

Delgado also had an encouraging day for New York, going 2-4 with an RBI single. He was 6-42 (.143) in his previous 10 games.