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No no-no for Sanchez; Ross' 3 HRs power Marlins rout

MIAMI (AP) -- There's something about the Cody Ross-Anibal Sanchez duo that works for the surging Florida Marlins.

Ross tied Florida records with three home runs and seven RBI, while Sanchez -- in his first start since pitching a no-hitter last week -- allowed four hits and struck out eight in seven innings as the Marlins beat the New York Mets 16-5 on Monday night.

Dan Uggla was a career-best 5-for-5 with three runs, Ross had four hits and Miguel Cabrera took over the NL batting lead plus drove in three runs for the Marlins, who had a season-high 20 hits and set a club record with five homers.

"A good day all around," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.

Ross has 12 home runs this season, 10 with Florida -- and seven in games started by Sanchez. Entering Monday, Ross had only one homer in his last 87 at-bats.

"Anibal told me a couple days ago, 'Man, every time I pitch, you hit a home run,'" Ross said. "After the first one I hit tonight, I thought about it and kind of chuckled. He doesn't need that much run support. He hasn't lately. But any time we can go out there and score like that against one of the best teams in the major leagues, it's huge."

The Marlins, 17-5 since Aug. 20, moved within two games of idle San Diego in the NL wild-card race. Uggla and Josh Willingham also hit home runs for Florida.

Carlos Beltran hit his 40th home run and Cliff Floyd added a two-run drive for the Mets, whose magic number for clinching the NL East title for the first time since 1988 remained at four.

"A lot of guys don't want to see those guys in the playoffs," Floyd said. "They're feeling pretty good about themselves."

Sanchez (8-2), unbeaten in his last seven starts, saw his bid to match Johnny Vander Meer's feat of throwing consecutive no-hitters end on Floyd's second-inning homer.

But by then, the Marlins had four runs -- and never stopped rolling.

Ross -- who was with the Dodgers and Cincinnati before coming to Florida on May 26 -- hit a three-run shot in the first inning and then added two-run homers in the sixth and seventh. He tied Mike Lowell's franchise record for homers in a game and became the third Marlins player to have seven RBI, the first since Gary Sheffield
in 1995.

Ross was replaced in right field by Joe Borchard in the top of the eighth inning, as many who remained in the crowd of about 13,000 chanted "Co-dy! Co-dy!"

"Anibal should maybe take him out to dinner," Girardi said. "I've said all along, when Cody plays, he usually makes an impact. Cody has the ability to do a lot of special things. ... He is a great piece that we picked up."

Cabrera went 2-for-3 and improved his average to .340 -- one point ahead of Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez, who was 1-for-4 in the Pirates' 4-3 win over Milwaukee.

"There's a lot of games left," Cabrera said. "The most important thing right now is winning."

Florida had six players with at least two hits, including Sanchez -- who even drove in a run.

"He's a good pitcher. Located the ball well," Beltran said. "He has confidence in every single pitch."

Mets starter Dave Williams (5-4) lasted only three-plus innings, giving up nine earned runs and 11 hits.

Ross' three-run homer highlighted Florida's four-run first. Cabrera had a two-run double in the second, an inning that Williams could have been out of if shortstop Jose Reyes didn't bobble a potential double-play ball. Sanchez's single pushed the lead to 7-2 in the third, and then Uggla led off the fourth with a homer.

And, unlike Sanchez, Uggla matched a 68-year-old major-league record.

His homer was No. 24 on the season, tying the Yankees' Joe Gordon for the most by a rookie second baseman. Gordon set that mark in 1938, the same year Vander Meer threw his two gems.

Lastings Milledge and Carlos Delgado had RBI in the eighth for the Mets, who have lost five of nine.

"That's an easy one to turn the page on. OK, get them tomorrow," New York manager Willie Randolph said. "You just toss it out."

Game notes
Uggla's five-hit game was the first for a Marlins player this season and the ninth in franchise history. ... Florida Atlantic football coach Howard Schnellenberger tossed one of the ceremonial first pitches. ... Florida is 5-3 on its homestand. ... The Mets lost for only the 29th time in 70 road games this season.