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Mets' 15th straight home loss breaks NL record

9/4/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets bungled their way to a National
League record 15th consecutive loss at home.

Preston Wilson hit a tying homer in the ninth and Juan Encarnacion had an RBI double in the 12th inning as the Florida Marlins beat the Mets 3-2 Tuesday night in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Mets won the second game 11-5 to end their epic skid.

The Mets surpassed the previous mark set in by Boston in 1911.

After an 0-for-August at home -- the first month in Mets' history that they went winless at home -- New York lost to Philadelphia on Sept. 1, tying the mark.

The Mets, losers of five in a row overall, have not won at Shea Stadium since beating the Houston Astros 10-0 on July 31. The 15 straight losses are the most in the majors since Detroit dropped its final 17 games at Tiger Stadium in 1996.

Derrek Lee singled off Scott Strickland (6-9) to lead off the 12th, advanced on a wild pitch and took third as catcher Vance Wilson's throw went into center field for an error. Encarnacion's double helped the Marlins to their fifth straight win.

Timo Perez's two-run homer in the third gave the Mets to a 2-1
lead that stood up going into the ninth, but closer Armando Benitez
gave up Wilson's 21st homer this season, his seventh against the
Mets. Wilson has 18 career homers and 44 RBIs against the Mets, his
most against any team.

Benitez, who hasn't had a save at home since July 28 against
Cincinnati, blew his fourth save in 33 opportunities. The last time
he had a save at home, the Mets were 54-50 and in second place.

Braden Looper (1-5) pitched the 11th for his first win since June 18, 2001, at Atlanta.

The Mets had a chance to win it in the ninth when shortstop Andy
Fox dropped Jeromy Burnitz's shallow fly to left for an error.
Burnitz flipped his bat away in disgust after popping up, then
hustled to reach second. Roger Cedeno fouled out to first baseman
Derrek Lee, ending the inning.

Florida took a 1-0 lead on Kevin Millar's RBI single in the
first and could have gotten more, but John Thomson escaped a
two-on, one-out jam.

Thomson scattered five hits in seven innings. He retired 17 of
18 batters after Wilson singled with one out in the first.

Carl Pavano allowed five hits in six innings, struck out three
and walked none.

Mike Piazza, nursing a sore left wrist, batted fifth for the
first time this season and had two singles before leaving for a
pinch runner in the seventh.

Game notes
After Piazza singled leading off the seventh, Esix Snead
made his major league debut, as a pinch runner. In the top of the
eighth, defensive replacement Wilson threw out pinch-runner Abraham
Nunez attempting to steal second to end the inning. ... Marlins C
Charles Johnson threw out his 17th runner in 49 attempts. ... The
Mets recalled INF Ty Wigginton from Triple-A Norfolk. The Marlins
called up RHP Justin Wayne, the starter in the second game of the
doubleheader, and INF-OF Brian Banks from Triple-A Calgary. ...
Florida recalled RHP Gary Knotts, INF Pablo Ozuna and OF Nunez from
Calgary before the game.