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Maine takes no-hitter into 7th; Mets spank Marlins

Mets 9, Marlins 2

MIAMI (AP) -- John Maine's no-hit bid ended like every other one for the New York Mets -- with a hit.

Miguel Cabrera's sharp single to start the seventh inning spoiled Maine's attempt to become the first Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter, and they settled for a 9-2 victory Wednesday over the Florida Marlins.

The Mets scored four times before Dontrelle Willis retired a batter, and Maine (2-0) allowed only two hits and two runs in seven innings. Maine said he never thought about a no-hitter.

"It's next to impossible to do," he said. "At this point I just want to go out there and get innings and help the team win. I don't want to think about anything like that."

Aaron Sele and Aaron Heilman completed a three-hitter. David Wright singled in the second inning to extend his career-best hitting streak to 25 games, a Mets record.

Cabrera singled on a fastball, and Joe Borchard hit a changeup for a two-run homer three batters later. Maine walked four, inflating his pitch count and hurting his chances of completing a no-hitter.

The young right-hander departed for a pinch-hitter after throwing 107 pitches.

"When you start getting those walks, your pitches go up," Maine said. "And unless you get quick outs late in the game, it's not something that can happen."

Later Wednesday, Mark Buehrle completed a no-hitter for the Chicago White Sox against the Texas Rangers, throwing only 105 pitches.

Wright went 2-for-5 with an RBI and hiked his average to .327. His hitting streak is a franchise record over two seasons -- Hubie Brooks (1984) and Mike Piazza (1999) share the one-season record of 24 games in a row.

"The streak's nowhere in my mind over the course of the game," Wright said. "But it was one of my goals coming into this year to get that consistency."

The Marlins lost their fourth game in a row, and Willis (3-1) failed in his bid to become the first four-game winner in the majors. He allowed 10 hits and eight runs, seven earned, in five innings.

Willis' wife is expected to deliver the couple's first child "any minute now," he said, but he declined to blame his performance on domestic concerns.

"She said, 'Have fun at your game and come home,'" Willis said. "She's a big girl. She's tough. She understands this is my job."

The left-hander fell to 12-2 in April and 11-3 against the Mets.

Carlos Beltran homered and drove in three runs for the Mets, who had 17 hits. Jose Reyes went 4-for-6 and scored twice.

"The way the kid Maine pitched tonight, they didn't need much," Willis said. "He is definitely pitching with a lot of confidence out there. You can see it."

Because of rainouts, Maine pitched for the first time in nine days. He looked strong from the start, allowing only one fly to the outfield before Cabrera lined a single to right-center.

The Marlins slugger checked his swing on a 1-2 pitch -- a close call that the Mets appealed to first base umpire Laz Diaz.

"I'm not going to disagree with anyone," Maine said. "But I thought it was close."

Cabrera singled on the next pitch, the 90th thrown by Maine.

Among the four major-league teams that have yet to throw a no-hitter, the Mets have waited the longest -- they began play in 1962. Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone are among those to throw at least one no-hitter after leaving the Mets.

Maine limited St. Louis to one hit in seven innings in his first start of the season April 4. He subdued a Marlins club that began the game leading the majors in hitting with a .288 average.

"You look at it and go, 'How did this guy beat us like that?'" said Mike Jacobs, who went 0-for-2 against Maine with a walk. "Not overpowering stuff at all, but he did a real good job of pitching. He was pitching up in the zone a little bit, and we weren't hitting them."

Game notes
The Marlins game that was rained out Saturday at Atlanta has been rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader June 5. ... Cabrera went 1-for-3 on his 24th birthday. ... The only no-hitter against the Marlins was thrown by Ramon Martinez of the Dodgers on July 14, 1995.