MIAMI (AP) -- Once Mike Piazza went back to hitting the ball to
the opposite field, his long RBI drought quickly came to an end.
Piazza had three hits, including two doubles to right field, and
three RBI -- his first since May 9 -- and Kazuhisa Ishii allowed one
run in 6 2-3 innings to help the New York Mets defeat Dontrelle
Willis and the Florida Marlins 6-1 on Saturday night.
"I said, 'Listen, that's the way you swing the bat good,"
Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "'Sometimes you stay on the
ball longer instead of pulling off."
Piazza, 3-for-4 with a walk, had gone 15 games and 54 at-bats
since he drove in four runs at Wrigley Field nearly three weeks
"I can't really figure it out," Piazza said. "I just try to
take advantage of the situation and try not to get discouraged, and
obviously help the ballclub when I can."
Miguel Cairo had three of New York's 14 hits and scored three
runs, Cliff Floyd scored twice, and Ishii added an RBI single for
the Mets, who won the first three games of the four-game series
after getting swept three straight at Atlanta.
The Marlins, percentage points ahead of Atlanta atop the NL
East, have dropped a season-high four consecutive games.
"We won six in a row, now we've lost four in a row. We're going
to have streaks like that," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said.
"These guys will be fine. We'll snap out of it. We just need one
of those things to fall in like Ishii's (single) fell in."
Ishii (1-3) surrendered five hits and three walks in earning his
first victory with New York after being acquired from Los Angeles
at the end of spring training. His last major league victory was
Aug. 29, 2004, against the Mets.
"In the bullpen, I was a little concerned because the velocity
wasn't there," Piazza, the Mets catcher, said of Ishii. "But when
he got on the field, he expanded the strike zone great, had a great
breaking ball, stayed really aggressive and stayed away from the
big innings with the walks."
Willis (8-2) allowed two runs, eight hits, three walks and
struck out seven in six innings. He threw 111 pitches, including 36
in the fifth, in losing at home for the first time after a 6-0
"I didn't feel any different," Willis said. "I pitch to
contact, so hits are going to happen. They did a good job fouling
off pitches to get a good pitch to hit."
He was 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA in seven career starts against the
New York took a 1-0 lead on Ishii's RBI single in the fourth.
Cliff Floyd led off with a single and went to third on David
Wright's double. Following a walk to Chris Woodward, Victor Diaz
lined into a double play. Ishii then sent a flare into center to
In the fifth, Cairo opened with a single and stole second as
Mike Cameron struck out. Piazza then lined an RBI double into the
right-field corner. Piazza entered the game hitting .067 (1-15) on
the seven-game road trip that concludes Sunday.
The Mets added three runs in the seventh on Piazza's RBI single,
Wright's run-scoring ground out and Woodward's RBI double.
Piazza's eighth-inning, ground-rule double scored Cairo to give
New York a 6-1 lead.
Jeff Conine doubled with one out in the seventh to score Mike
Lowell with the Marlins' run but was thrown out trying to stretch
it into a triple.
"I made a mistake, that's all there is to it," Conine said.
Guillermo Mota pitched a perfect ninth for Florida in his
first outing since being activated from the disabled list this
week. He was sidelined since April 24 by right elbow inflammation.
... The Mets' victory on Friday night was the fifth time since 1990
that a 1-0 game had no walks for either team, according to the
Elias Sports Bureau. ... Saturday's game drew 35,223 fans. ...
Florida 2B Luis Castillo returned to the lineup after missing 15 of
the previous 16 games with an injured left quadriceps. ... Marlins
catcher Paul Lo Duca is hitless in 24 at-bats. ... Wright has hit
safely in 12 of 14 games.