|Florida (13-13) «||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||5||7||0|
|N.Y. Mets (15-10)||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||2||11||0|
Just don't forget about Florida's defense.
The Marlins made three great defensive plays and Willingham drove in a career-high five runs in a 5-2 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
"We played some great defense tonight," said Nolasco, who came off the disabled list to pitch five effective innings. "Defense picked me up when I needed them to and this is how we're going to win.
Willingham tripled with the bases loaded in the first inning and hit a two-run homer off Aaron Heilman in the eighth after the Mets pulled within one. Willingham narrowly missed two more homers, flying out to the warning track in center twice.
"It's one of those things where it's a combination of I feel good at the plate, I'm getting into good hitters counts a lot of times and getting good pitches to hit," said Willingham, who is hitting .450 with 11 RBI in his last five games. "If they make their pitches on the corners, obviously you don't drive the ball."
Nolasco was backed by solid defense, especially from center fielder Alfredo Amezaga. Carlos Beltran hit a long fly to center in the fourth, but Amezaga leaped high to catch the drive near the top of the wall.
Amezaga was responsible for the final out of the inning, too. He easily threw out Carlos Delgado trying to score on Paul Lo Duca's single to get Nolasco out of the inning.
"In the box score it's not going to be noticed but for me he's got to be up there with Willingham as far as heroes of the game," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Those are two runs or maybe even possibly more runs that he saved us."
The Marlins also turned an unusual double play when the Mets attempted a double steal with runners on first and third in the first inning. Delgado took a called third strike and shortstop Hanley Ramirez cut off catcher Miguel Olivo's throw and threw back to the plate to get Jose Reyes.
Nolasco (1-0) allowed one run and six hits. He was 0-3 with a 19.73 ERA in four previous appearances against New York. He notched his first road win since he beat Arizona on Aug. 13.
"You can't put people on base for free because they'll make you pay," said Nolasco, who struck out five and walked none. "My perspective was just if they're going to get on base I'm going to make them earn it."
Lee Gardner, Kevin Gregg and Taylor Tankersley combined to allow one run in three innings of relief for Florida. With heavy rain falling, former Mets prospect Henry Owens pitched the ninth for his third save and second in two days.
David Wright snapped out of a slump with three hits for New York, including his first home run of the season. Wright was 4-for-35 (.114) in his previous 10 games, including stranding six runners in an 0-for-5 performance in the series opener.
"The biggest thing is I felt relaxed," Wright said.
Florida took advantage of Mike Pelfrey's control problems in the first inning. Pelfrey hit Dan Uggla with a pitch with one out and issued back-to-back walks to Miguel Cabrera and Mike Jacobs to load the bases.
Willingham then sliced a first-pitch fastball into the right-field corner to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead. He was stranded at third when Pelfrey struck out Joe Borchard and got Olivo to pop out.
That was all Florida could manage against Pelfrey (0-3), who allowed five hits and struck out three in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander had struggled in his previous two starts, giving up 10 runs and 14 hits in eight innings.
"Pelfrey threw the ball well after he settled down," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He showed me something."
Delgado also had an encouraging day for New York, going 2-for-4 with an RBI single. He was 6-for-42 (.143) in his previous 10 games.
|Josh Willingham turns a one-run game into a 5-2 lead with a two-run blast in the eighth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.344|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||1||1||0||0||0||2||.222|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.360|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.311|
|Aaron Boone, PR-1B||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||1||2||5||0||0||1||.309|
|Joe Borchard, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.233|
|Miguel Olivo, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.213|
|Alfredo Amezaga, CF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.271|
|Ricky Nolasco, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.000|
|Lee Gardner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Eric Reed, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Kevin Gregg, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Taylor Tankersley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Jason Wood, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.211|
|Henry Owens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Gardner in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Tankersley in the 9th|
|3B - Josh Willingham (2, Pelfrey)|
|HR - Josh Willingham (4, Heilman)|
|RBI - Josh Willingham 5 (23)|
|SB - Joe Borchard (2, 2nd base off Pelfrey/Lo Duca)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Alfredo Amezaga 1|
|DP - Olivo-H. Ramirez|
|Ricky Nolasco (W,1-0)||5||6||1||1||0||5||1||5.68|
|Lee Gardner (H,1)||1||2||1||1||0||0||0||3.00|
|Kevin Gregg (H,4)||1.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||3.12|
|Taylor Tankersley (H,2)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.05|
|Henry Owens (S,3)||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||2.30|
|HBP - Easley (by Kevin Gregg)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 70-46, Lee Gardner 8-7, Kevin Gregg 16-11, Taylor Tankersley 6-4, Henry Owens 19-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 1-7, Lee Gardner 3-0, Kevin Gregg 2-1, Taylor Tankersley 1-1, Henry Owens 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 19, Lee Gardner 5, Kevin Gregg 6, Taylor Tankersley 2, Henry Owens 5|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||0||1||0||0||3||3||.349|
|David Wright, 3B||4||2||3||1||0||0||0||.266|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.352|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||1||3||.200|
|Moises Alou, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.333|
|Shawn Green, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.351|
|Paul Lo Duca, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.250|
|Damion Easley, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.240|
|Mike Pelfrey, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Joe Smith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- David Newhan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Aaron Heilman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Endy Chavez, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.400|
|a-grounded out for Smith in the 7th|
|b-singled for Heilman in the 9th|
|2B - David Wright (5, Gardner)|
|HR - David Wright (1, Nolasco)|
|RBI - David Wright (7), Carlos Delgado (13)|
|CS - Jose Reyes (4, Home by Nolasco/Olivo)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Wright-Easley-Delgado|
|New York Mets|
|Mike Pelfrey (L,0-3)||6.1||5||3||3||3||3||0||6.75|
|HBP - Uggla (by Mike Pelfrey)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 106-57, Joe Smith 7-4, Aaron Heilman 28-20|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 9-6, Joe Smith 1-0, Aaron Heilman 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 27, Joe Smith 2, Aaron Heilman 8|
|Attendance - 48458|
|Game Time - 2:39|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Gerry Davis|