Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, May 28
NY Mets1Final
Florida2
Game 2: Saturday, May 29
NY Mets2Final
in 10
Florida3
Game 3: Sunday, May 30
NY Mets6Final
Florida8

Mets 6

(23-26, 10-15 away)

Marlins 8

(30-20, 16-9 home)

3:05 PM ET, May 30, 2004

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

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NYM 003001200 6 11 2
FLA 30300011 - 8 9 0

W: T. Borland (1-0)

L: M. Stanton (0-2)

S: A. Benitez (20)

Marlins sweep Mets

MIAMI (AP) -- The offense finally awoke for the New York Mets. This time, their defense was caught napping.

A pair of errors led to four unearned runs for Florida, and Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in four to help the Marlins beat the Mets 8-6 on Sunday.

New York battled back twice from three-run deficits to tie it, but Mike Lowell's tiebreaking double in the seventh put the Marlins -- who moved to an NL-best 30-20 -- ahead for good.

"It ain't exactly how you draw it up," said center fielder Juan Pierre, who was 2-for-4 and scored the go-ahead run. "We'll take that victory. ... None of these victories are easy, but these are the ones that count and won't put as much pressure on you late in the season."

The Marlins finished a three-game sweep and won for the ninth time in 11 games, but lost right-hander Josh Beckett, who left after 2 2-3 innings with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

Beckett will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday. Other blister problems sent last year's World Series MVP to the disabled list three times in the 2002 season.

Alex Gonzalez hit his fourth home run for Florida.

Jason Phillips homered twice for the Mets, the first multihomer game of his career. Ty Wigginton homered for the second straight day, and Karim Garcia also hit one drove in a season-high three RBI. The four total homers matched a season high for the Mets, yet they still fell to 1-9 in their last 10 against Florida.

"It doesn't matter what you do offensively if you're losing," Phillips said. "It's a tough loss for us."

A pair of two-out Mets errors led to Florida's four unearned runs. The final miscue came in the seventh, when Pierre reached after the throw from Mets shortstop Kaz Matsui pulled first baseman Mike Piazza off the bag.

Lowell worked a 2-2 count against Mike Stanton (0-2). When Pierre stole second off the left-hander, Mets manager Art Howe elected to bring in David Weathers to replace Stanton -- and Lowell sent the second pitch from Weathers to the base of the left-field wall, giving Pierre plenty of time to score.

"I hit it well, but they were playing kind of deep," said Lowell, who beat the Mets with a 10th-inning walkoff homer Saturday. "It was very satisfying to get that hit."

It was Lowell's third hit in 13 career at-bats against Weathers.

"He's been effective with him historically, but not today," Howe said.

Gonzalez's homer in the eighth gave the Marlins an 8-6 lead, and Armando Benitez pitched a perfect ninth against his former team for his 20th save in 21 chances. Toby Borland (1-0), the fourth of six Florida pitchers, got the win despite allowing the Mets to pull into a 6-6 tie with two runs in the seventh.

Cabrera's two-run double highlighted a three-run first for Florida, but the Mets -- who managed only three runs in the first 21 innings of the series -- matched that output in the third.

Matsui led off with a single and Garcia, who hadn't homered in 51 at-bats, connected for a two-run homer, bringing the Mets to 3-2 on Beckett's last pitch. Darren Oliver relieved, and Phillips, his first batter, homered to tie it 3-3.

Florida scored three runs in the third after Spencer, starting in center for the first time this year, dropped Lowell's fly ball that would have ended the inning. Spencer nearly collided with left fielder Eric Valent; both started because of injuries Cliff Floyd and Mike Cameron sustained while colliding Saturday.

Spencer said afterward he lost the ball in the sun; Valent called the play "a miscommunication."

"That's why they are in first," Valent said. "You can't give good teams a second chance."

Said Spencer: "I thought the ball was going to hit me in the face."

Cabrera, the next batter after the error, homered off Steve Trachsel for a 5-3 lead, and Jeff Conine scored on Hee Seop Choi's double. Trachsel allowed six runs -- three earned -- and six hits in three innings, matching his shortest stint of the year.

"He can't be effective every time out," Howe said. "He had to get four outs in that one inning, but he couldn't do it."

New York closed to 6-4 in the sixth on Wigginton's sixth homer, then tied it in the seventh on Garcia's RBI groundout Phillips' long homer off Borland.

Game notes


Spencer had a busy first inning. He started an 8-6-2 play on which Lowell was tagged at the plate for the first out, then made a long run to catch a well-hit Conine fly ball for the second out. ... The Marlins have outscored opponents 40-19 in first innings. ... Pierre extended his string of consecutive series with at least one hit to 48. ... Choi extended his hitting streak to a career-best seven games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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