The Mets continued their mastery of left-handers with a four-run fourth Sunday against Florida starter Scott Olsen, helping them beat the Marlins 6-4 and complete a three-game sweep. David Wright had two hits and an RBI and Carlos Beltran scored twice after walks for the Mets, whose division lead grew to a season-high 4½ games over Atlanta.
"We haven't been playing that well, and to come out here and sweep them on their home field ... it's tough to do," said Mets closer Billy Wagner, who worked the ninth for his 12th save and 30th straight dating back to last season, extending the franchise record.
"It was a big series. We were hoping to take two of three, but to get that sweep is just icing on the cake."
"More than anything, it proves to ourselves that we can rebound after a letdown," Wright said.
Miguel Olivo had two hits, including his third home run, for Florida. Miguel Cabrera added two hits, including an RBI double in the eighth for the Marlins, who could have pulled within 3½ games with a series sweep.
Instead, they left for an 11-game, 10-day road swing 9½ games off the Mets' pace.
"We can get on a roll," Olsen said. "That's not an issue. ... Obviously, you don't want to get too far behind, but we've still got a lot of time. We've got four months. Four months. A lot can happen."
Mets starter Jorge Sosa (4-1) scattered five hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings for his fourth win in 23 days
Olsen (4-4) breezed through the first 3 1/3 innings, retiring 10 straight after Reyes doubled to start the game. But the Mets -- who entered the game hitting .334 against left-handers, by far the best in baseball -- broke through against Olsen in the fourth. Carlos Delgado, Easley and Endy Chavez all had RBI singles in that inning, and Delgado scored on a throwing error.
"You don't have to hit the ball hard," Olsen said, "and they proved it that inning."
Beltran, a lifetime .429 hitter against Olsen, started that burst with a one-out walk. He drew another pass from Olsen in the fifth, and scored easily when Wright doubled to deep center for a 5-1 Mets lead.
Olsen threw 44 pitches in the fourth, four more than he needed in the first three innings combined. He threw 107 pitches in his five inning, allowing six hits and striking out seven with two wild pitches. Olsen only went five innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven, but lost to the Mets for the first time in six career starts.
"I've seen him pitch better," Gonzalez said. "It was just OK."
Florida opened the scoring in the third, when Reggie Abercrombie led off with a single, stole second and scored on Alfredo Amezaga's sacrifice fly to deep right. The Marlins got within 5-2 in the fifth after Aaron Boone hit a leadoff double and scored when Abercrombie beat out a double play, but the Mets' four-run cushion was restored when 48-year-old Julio Franco hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth.
Olivo's homer came off in the ninth off Wagner, only the fourth earned run yielded by the Mets' closer in 21 appearances.
"It's tough to win down here," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We play pretty well down here, but this is the first time we swept them in a while, so it's nice."
- Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez didn't start -- a previously scheduled day off -- but came in as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and stayed in the game.
- Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca, who was hit by a pitch Saturday and said his elbow swelled a bit afterward, was given the day off. A horse racing enthusiast, Lo Duca was at nearby Calder Race Course in the morning to watch a 2-year-old filly he owns have a workout.
- The Mets left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings.
- Florida has dropped seven straight at home to the Mets.