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Florida at New York

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Florida «000040010591
N.Y. Mets000110000272

Rookie Sanchez outpitches Martinez as Marlins drop Mets

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Pedro Martinez never looked close to tears in his latest playoff tuneup. He never really looked like his old self, either.

The New York Mets' ace was certainly more comfortable on the mound Thursday night, but he was outpitched by Florida rookie Anibal Sanchez in the Marlins' 5-2 victory.

"This is what I wanted, regardless of what the results might be," Martinez said. "I got the innings and I got command of my pitches. That's what I needed."

Miguel Olivo and Hanley Ramirez each drove in two runs during a four-run fifth against Martinez, and Sanchez (9-3) worked seven strong innings to win for the fifth time in six decisions.

Florida won its second consecutive game following a four-game slide that hurt its postseason chances. The Marlins open a three-game series Friday night in Philadelphia, which is a half-game behind NL wild card-leading Los Angeles. Florida is four back of the Dodgers, who beat the Pirates 5-2 Thursday night.

"Two wins in a row was nice. But we need to beat Philly, that's the bottom line," manager Joe Girardi said.

New York already clinched the NL East title earlier this week, so Martinez (9-7) is just trying to get healthy and sharp in time to lead a suspect rotation in October. He's expected to make only one more regular-season start, next Wednesday in Atlanta.

"I'm really close," he said. "I'm going to push it in the playoffs."

The three-time Cy Young Award winner had a disappointing outing in Pittsburgh last Friday night, his first since missing a month with a strained right calf, and was nearly in tears in the dugout after lasting only three innings.

"The first outing, I felt like I had no knowledge of what was going to happen after the first inning," he said.

But the 34-year-old right-hander got off to a good start in this one. He faced the minimum 12 batters through four innings, striking out five, and got help from his defense in the form of a double play and two diving catches in the outfield.

"I'm extremely happy with the way everything went. I hit a little bit of a wall in the fifth inning," Martinez said. "Everything seems to be coming along just like I expected."

Still, Martinez's mixed comments were difficult to read -- as they often are. He also said he was more "cautious" on the mound this time, which he considered wise, and he got "a little stiff, but not bad."

Furthermore, he definitely doesn't appear to be pushing off the rubber with the same thrust as usual.

"He does not look completely healthy," Girardi said. "His arm spot looked a little lower to me tonight, but when it comes to knowing how to pitch, Pedro knows how to pitch."

Martinez's goal is to give the Mets seven solid innings in the postseason. With their bullpen, he said, that should be enough.

"From five to seven, that's not much of a difference," he said. "I felt like I could've done a lot more. You don't want to rush anything."

Martinez ran into trouble in the fifth, when he gave up four hits and hit a batter with a pitch. Yet few balls were hit hard against him, and he struck out seven over five innings before leaving for a pinch hitter.

Martinez yielded four runs -- three earned -- and one walk, throwing 52 of 87 pitches for strikes. He is 2-4 with a 7.47 ERA in seven starts since June 28.

"He looked a lot better than the last time out," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He had that nice feel and presence about him. He was out there competing. So that was very encouraging."

Sanchez allowed two runs -- one earned -- and seven hits in his third start since a no-hitter against Arizona on Sept. 6. He's beaten the Mets twice in those three outings.

Taylor Tankersley pitched a scoreless inning, and Joe Borowski got three quick outs for his 36th save in 43 chances.

Wes Helms added an RBI double in the eighth for Florida.

Carlos Delgado's RBI single in the fourth gave Martinez a 1-0 lead, and Endy Chavez had a run-scoring single in the fifth.

Notes

  • Florida 3B Miguel Cabrera sat out for the second consecutive game because of a strained left shoulder.
  • Ramirez nicked his right index finger while trying to bunt in the seventh. He came out in the eighth.
  • Mets CF Carlos Beltran was out of the lineup again. He said he underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday and has a minor strain in his upper left quadriceps. "Just regular banged-up stuff," Randolph said before the game. "Nothing major."
  • New York C Paul Lo Duca also sat out with a sore left thumb that's bothered him for much of the season. Kelly Stinnett started behind the plate.
  • The Mets reached a two-year agreement to make New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League their Triple-A affiliate, ending a long relationship with Norfolk, Va.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Florida's Anibel Sanchez throws seven solid innings with five strikeouts to improve to 9-3.  (AP)
Florida's Anibel Sanchez throws seven solid innings with five strikeouts to improve to 9-3. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Delgado
AB 3
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Florida

M. Olivo
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS4012000 .285
    Robert Andino, SS1000001 .182
Dan Uggla, 2B4000021 .285
Josh Willingham, LF4010030 .283
    Eric Reed, PR-CF0100000 .111
Mike Jacobs, 1B3120111 .260
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000 .000
    Joe Borowski, P0000000 .000
Wes Helms, 3B4021002 .306
Joe Borchard, RF2110010 .226
   a- Cody Ross, PH-RF2000012 .243
Alfredo Amezaga, CF-LF3100002 .263
Miguel Olivo, C4112030 .265
Anibal Sanchez, P3000012 .121
    Jason Wood, 1B1010000 .600
Totals3559511211 
a-flied out for Borchard in the 6th
Batting
2B - Hanley Ramirez (41, P. Martinez), Wes Helms (13, Oliver)
RBI - Hanley Ramirez 2 (55), Wes Helms (43), Miguel Olivo 2 (56)
2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez 2 (26), Wes Helms (21)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alfredo Amezaga 1
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Jacobs
E - Hanley Ramirez (24, )
Florida Marlins
Anibal Sanchez (W,9-3) 7721150 2.80
Taylor Tankersley (H,21) 1000110 2.87
Joe Borowski (S,36) 1000010 3.93
WP - Anibal Sanchez (3), Taylor Tankersley (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 99-64, Taylor Tankersley 21-12, Joe Borowski 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 9-6, Taylor Tankersley 1-1, Joe Borowski 1-1
Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 28, Taylor Tankersley 4, Joe Borowski 3
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4000022 .297
Endy Chavez, CF4121010 .312
Shawn Green, RF4000001 .276
Carlos Delgado, 1B3031100 .266
David Wright, 3B3010101 .307
Cliff Floyd, LF4000014 .238
Jose Valentin, 2B4010003 .273
Kelly Stinnett, C3000001 .213
   a- Julio Franco, PH1000010 .262
Pedro Martinez, P1000010 .108
   b- Ricky Ledee, PH1100000 .188
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Chad Bradford, P0000000 .000
   c- Michael Tucker, PH1000011 .229
    Darren Oliver, P0000000 .143
Totals332722713 
a-struck out for Stinnett in the 9th
b-grounded out for P. Martinez in the 5th
c-struck out for Bradford in the 7th
Batting
RBI - Endy Chavez (39), Carlos Delgado (110)
2-OUT RBI - Endy Chavez (14)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Wright-Valentin-Delgado
E - Shawn Green (5, ), Jose Valentin (6, )
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez (L,9-7) 5443170 4.08
Pedro Feliciano 1200010 1.74
Chad Bradford 1000010 2.88
Darren Oliver 2311030 2.83
HBP - Amezaga (by Pedro Martinez)
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 87-52, Pedro Feliciano 16-10, Chad Bradford 11-8, Darren Oliver 37-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 3-4, Chad Bradford 2-0, Darren Oliver 1-2
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 20, Pedro Feliciano 5, Chad Bradford 3, Darren Oliver 9
Game Information
Attendance - 44966
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Paul Schrieber