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Mets win fifth straight on Heilman's one-hitter

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Aaron Heilman threw one pitch here and the next one there, working in and out with movement and location, showing the kind of quality the New York Mets have always hoped for from the lanky right-hander.

That was the formula for a brilliant one-hitter Friday night as Heilman outpitched Josh Beckett and shut out the Florida Marlins 4-0.

He got hitting help from Mike Piazza, who broke out of a slump with two doubles and three RBI to send the Mets to their fifth straight victory after an 0-5 start.

"It was just an outstanding job by Aaron," manager Willie Randolph said. "He kept the ball down. He had location and movement. He threw a great game. When the ball moves like that, you get lots of groundballs."

And just one hit -- Luis Castillo's infield single in the fourth.

Heilman (1-1) dominated the Marlins in a dramatic turnaround, by far the best performance of his brief career. Drafted 18th overall in 2001 out of Notre Dame, Heilman has been a big disappointment for the Mets -- he came in with a 3-11 record in 20 major league outings.

In fact, he was supposed to begin the season in the minors, but he was called up because right-hander Kris Benson is on the disabled list.

Now, Heilman said, the trick is to do it again.

"I've got to figure out another way to get these guys out in five days," he said.

That has never been a simple matter for Heilman, who has struggled with inconsistency throughout his career.

Friday's performance followed an adjustment in his delivery.

"I was hiding the ball better and had a little more deception," Heilman said.

He struck out seven, walked three and retired his first nine batters.

"He had a good night. He stopped our potent offense," Florida manager Jack McKeon said, sounding a little sarcastic.

As good as Heilman's performance was, the Mets had to be just as encouraged by Piazza. He doubled twice off Beckett, who did not allow a run in his first two starts this season.

"I felt a little better," said Piazza, who batted just .148 with one RBI in the first nine games. "There was some tension in the first few games. That's why this game is so hard. If it was easy, it wouldn't be a challenge. You have to trust yourself and trust your swing."

Piazza drove in two runs on a fifth-inning double after Marlins first baseman Carlos Delgado made two errors on one play.

Miguel Cairo walked with one out and Delgado booted Carlos Beltran's grounder and then threw the ball over Beckett's head as the pitcher covered first for a second error, allowing Cairo to reach third base. Piazza followed with a double into the left-field corner, scoring both runs. One run was earned, the first earned run against Beckett (2-1) in 20 innings this season.

Beckett's scoreless string of 15 innings ended when the Mets nicked him for a pair of unearned runs in the first.

Jose Reyes led off with a double and Cairo was safe when Beckett booted his sacrifice bunt for an error. Reyes scored on an RBI groundout by Piazza, and Cairo came home on a two-out single by Doug Mientkiewicz.

Heilman was nearly untouchable.

Florida did not have a runner until Juan Pierre was hit by a pitch leading off the fourth. Plate umpire Brian Runge first ordered Pierre back to the plate because he was hit as he squared to bunt, but then reversed the call after huddling with the other umpires.

Castillo followed with Florida's only hit, an infield single. But Heilman retired Miguel Cabrera, Delgado and Mike Lowell to escape the jam and never was in real trouble again.


  • Mets LF Cliff Floyd (strained rib muscle) missed his third straight start and 2B Kaz Matsui (scratched cornea) did not start for the second straight game.
  • Delgado, who rejected the Mets' free-agent offer, was booed by the crowd of 49,448 all night.
  • The Mets marked Jackie Robinson Night with a video tribute to the Hall of Famer, who became the first black player in the major leagues on April 15, 1947.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Mets pitcher Aaron Heilman strikes out seven for his first complete game. (AP)
Mets pitcher Aaron Heilman strikes out seven for his first complete game. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Heilman
IP 9.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 3
K 7
New York

M. Piazza
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Florida Marlins
Juan Pierre, CF3000000 .300
Luis Castillo, 2B2010200 .194
Miguel Cabrera, LF4000004 .256
Carlos Delgado, 1B3000012 .306
Mike Lowell, 3B3000002 .184
Paul Lo Duca, C3000010 .353
Juan Encarnacion, RF3000020 .250
Damion Easley, SS2000110 .267
Josh Beckett, P2000011 .143
    Todd Jones, P0000000 .000
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Conine, PH1000010 .200
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Moehler in the 8th
SB - Juan Pierre (2, 2nd base off Heilman/Piazza)
Team LOB - 3
E - Josh Beckett (1, throwing error), Carlos Delgado 2 (3, misplayed grounder and throwing error)
Florida Marlins
Josh Beckett (L,2-1) 5441360 0.45
Todd Jones 1000110 0.00
Brian Moehler 1000000 2.35
Guillermo Mota 1100100 0.00
IBB - Mientkiewicz by Josh Beckett
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 81-54, Todd Jones 18-9, Brian Moehler 8-8, Guillermo Mota 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 6-5, Todd Jones 2-0, Guillermo Mota 1-2
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 24, Todd Jones 4, Brian Moehler 3, Guillermo Mota 5
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4110012 .326
Miguel Cairo, 2B2200100 .273
Carlos Beltran, CF4100012 .282
Mike Piazza, C4023000 .194
    Ramon Castro, C0000000 .375
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B3011101 .314
Chris Woodward, 3B4010014 .250
Marlon Anderson, LF4000021 .417
Victor Diaz, RF1000300 .286
Aaron Heilman, P3000022 .000
2B - Jose Reyes (4, Beckett), Mike Piazza 2 (3, Beckett, Beckett)
SH - Miguel Cairo (3), Aaron Heilman (1)
RBI - Mike Piazza 3 (4), Doug Mientkiewicz (4)
2-OUT RBI - Doug Mientkiewicz (3)
SB - Miguel Cairo (2, 2nd base off Beckett/Lo Duca), Victor Diaz (2, 2nd base off T. Jones/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Reyes-Cairo-Mientkiewicz, Reyes-Cairo-Mientkiewicz
New York Mets
Aaron Heilman (W,1-1) 9100370 3.21
HBP - Pierre (by Aaron Heilman)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Heilman 107-66
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Heilman 10-8
Batters Faced - Aaron Heilman 30
Game Information
Attendance - 49448
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Angel A. Hernandez, Third Base - Greg Gibson