NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran took a big swing, hit a soft popup and barely left the batter's box. He just stood there sulking, watching -- and it only got worse.
Beltran's lack of hustle allowed the Florida Marlins to turn an embarrassing double play Saturday in a 7-3 victory over the Mets, surely not the kind of effort New York expects from its $119 million center fielder.
"There's nothing to say. Everyone saw that play. I'm sure he's embarrassed by it. I just want to make sure it doesn't happen again," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
Beltran hit a two-run double, but he had an up-and-down performance -- appropriately -- on his own bobblehead day. The Mets fell back to .500 and last place in the NL East.
The speedy switch-hitter doubled in the first and made a diving catch in the second. But he failed to run out a weak popup in the third, and first baseman Carlos Delgado alertly let the ball drop so he could start a 3-6-3 double play.
"Take a chance. Columbus did, discovered America," Delgado said. "It just worked out well for us - caught a break there."
Beltran was booed by the crowd of 41,290 -- then cheered after his two-run double with two outs in the fifth gave the Mets a 3-1 lead.
But at the end of the day, it was his lackadaisical blunder that stood out.
"I was surprised," Beltran said. "When I hit the ball, first I was assuming he was going to catch the ball. And when he let it drop, it was too late."
Moehler (3-6) got help from his bullpen after allowing three runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He was 0-5 in his previous eight starts, getting only 1.58 runs of support per game.
"This is one game that we owed him," Lo Duca said. "We owe him a couple more."
"It all evens out," Moehler said. "It was good to get some runs."
Kris Benson (6-3) failed to hold a two-run lead and lost for the first time in six starts. He gave up five runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in six innings. The right-hander was 6-1 with a 3.10 ERA in his previous nine starts.
The Marlins started the sixth with four straight singles, the last by Encarnacion to drive in a run.
Damion Easley's RBI groundout tied it at 3, and Benson had a chance to escape further damage when Alex Gonzalez hit a potential double-play ball to shortstop. But Offerman couldn't come up with Marlon Anderson's low relay, and the go-ahead run scored on his error.
"He just dropped the ball," Randolph said.
Gonzalez stole second and third, then scored on Lo Duca's single to make it 5-3.
"I take that approach, that I'm going to play. I don't want to get caught off-guard," said Lo Duca, who was supposed to get the day off. "I'm ready to come in the game regardless if it's 10-0 or 2-1."
With the bases loaded in the ninth, Mets reliever Danny Graves hit Encarnacion with his first pitch. Gonzalez added an RBI infield single, making it 7-3.
"You don't give them outs. A team like the Marlins, they have quality hitters and quality runners," Mets catcher Mike Piazza said. "We should have come out and shut the door. We didn't do that. We gave them some insurance runs."
Encarnacion has reached base safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances, tying the club record set by Derrek Lee in September 2002.
"I've seen him do this before," Moehler said. "When he's going good, he goes the other way."
Florida went ahead in the first when Juan Pierre led off with a single, stole second and scored on Encarnacion's two-out single.
David Wright doubled to start the New York fifth, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Benson's single through a drawn-in infield. Benson is 6-for-19 (.316) this season with four RBI.
Jose Reyes singled before Beltran's double off the base of the right-field fence.
|Juan Encarnacion is 4-for-4 with three RBI as the Marlins take down the Mets. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Juan Pierre, CF||5||2||2||0||0||0||0||.258|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||2||1||1||0||1||0||0||.338|
|Miguel Cabrera, LF||4||2||1||0||1||2||2||.341|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||3||1||1||0||2||0||1||.304|
|Juan Encarnacion, RF||4||0||4||3||0||0||0||.287|
|Damion Easley, 3B||4||0||0||1||0||1||5||.235|
|Alex Gonzalez, SS||5||1||1||1||0||0||2||.274|
|Matt Treanor, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.244|
|a- Paul Lo Duca, PH-C||2||0||1||1||1||0||3||.308|
|Brian Moehler, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.087|
|Valerio De Los Santos, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Guillermo Mota, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.000|
|Todd Jones, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Treanor in the 6th|
|SH - Luis Castillo 2 (11), Damion Easley (2)|
|RBI - Juan Encarnacion 3 (46), Damion Easley (18), Alex Gonzalez (29), Paul Lo Duca (33)|
|2-OUT RBI - Juan Encarnacion (23), Alex Gonzalez (9), Paul Lo Duca (13)|
|SB - Juan Pierre 2 (20, 2nd base off Benson/Piazza, 3rd base off Ring/Piazza), Alex Gonzalez 2 (3, 2nd base off Benson/Piazza, 3rd base off Benson/Piazza)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Delgado-A. Gonzalez, A. Gonzalez-Castillo-Delgado, Easley-Delgado|
|E - Luis Castillo (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|Brian Moehler (W,3-6)||5.1||9||3||3||2||1||0||3.16|
|Valerio De Los Santos (H,1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.74|
|Guillermo Mota (H,4)||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.61|
|IBB - Floyd by Brian Moehler|
|HBP - Floyd (by Brian Moehler)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 68-44, Valerio De Los Santos 1-1, Guillermo Mota 20-14, Todd Jones 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 6-7, Valerio De Los Santos 1-0, Todd Jones 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 26, Valerio De Los Santos 1, Guillermo Mota 6, Todd Jones 4|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||1||.259|
|Mike Cameron, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.292|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||.262|
|Cliff Floyd, LF||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.288|
|Mike Piazza, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.264|
|Marlon Anderson, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.275|
|David Wright, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Jose Offerman, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.231|
|Kris Benson, P||2||1||1||1||0||0||0||.316|
|a- Brian Daubach, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.100|
|b- Miguel Cairo, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.283|
|Heath Bell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Royce Ring, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Danny Graves, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Gerald Williams, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-announced for Benson in the 6th|
|b-grounded into a double play for Daubach in the 6th|
|c-grounded out for Graves in the 9th|
|2B - Carlos Beltran 2 (19, Moehler, Moehler), David Wright (21, Moehler)|
|RBI - Carlos Beltran 2 (40), Kris Benson (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran 2 (12)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Mike Cameron (3, Misplayed grounder), Jose Offerman (2, Missed catch)|
|New York Mets|
|Kris Benson (L,6-3)||6||8||5||3||1||2||0||3.75|
|IBB - Delgado by Kris Benson, Lo Duca by Heath Bell, Cabrera by Royce Ring|
|HBP - Encarnacion (by Danny Graves)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kris Benson 77-49, Heath Bell 39-23, Royce Ring 17-7, Danny Graves 9-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Benson 9-7, Heath Bell 2-2, Royce Ring 1-0, Danny Graves 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kris Benson 27, Heath Bell 9, Royce Ring 4, Danny Graves 4|
|Attendance - 41290|
|Game Time - 2:59|
|Temperature - 80|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Randy Marsh|