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New York at Florida

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N.Y. Mets (75-60) «100000004591
Florida (68-67)011000002481

Beltran erases lead with grand slam, Mets take out Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The New York Mets were one strike from defeat before Carlos Beltran came through with the big hit that had eluded them all night.

Beltran hit a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning off Kevin Gregg, and New York's shaky bullpen held on for a 5-4 win over the Florida Marlins on Friday night.

Before Beltran's homer, the Mets were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Trailing 2-1, they left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded two in the eighth.

"We didn't score early, but we scored when the team needed it the most," Beltran said.

Gregg (6-8) retired the first two batters in the ninth, and New York was down to its final strike when Luis Castillo singled on a 1-2 pitch. David Wright also singled, and Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Beltran.

"I wasn't looking for anything in particular," Beltran said. "I was thinking, `I just need to come through right here and at least tie the game."'

Gregg's first pitch was a hanging splitter, and Beltran pulled it over the right-field wall for his 20th homer.

"I knew it was going to be gone, and I was happy because this is a team we really need to beat," Beltran said.

The grand slam left the third-place Marlins reeling. They've been fading in the NL East and fell seven games behind the Mets, who increased their lead over second-place Philadelphia to two games.

"Our backs are against the wall," Florida outfielder Cody Ross said. "We've got to win. We've got to start tomorrow."

Gregg has contributed to the Marlins' slump. In his past seven outings he's 0-4 with an ERA of 16.20.

"It's a situation where I'm killing the guys," Gregg said. "They're playing good baseball, and I screwed it up. My last few outings have been horrible."

Manager Fredi Gonzalez ducked a question regarding whether he'll replace Gregg as closer.

"Anything else?" Gonzalez said. "I don't have to answer."

The Mets have had bullpen woes of their own, and Luis Ayala earned his third save despite giving up four hits in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Mike Jacobs singled in one run, and Jorge Cantu doubled home another before Wes Helms grounded out with runners at second and third to end the game.

That allowed Ayala to shrug off his wobbly outing.

"We won," he said. Ayala, who had ice taped to his right thigh, said he pitched with a tight hamstring.

Rookie Chris Volstad, facing the Mets for the first time, limited them to five hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings. New York's Oliver Perez was nearly as good -- he allowed the Marlins three hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings.

Florida totaled four hits in the first eight innings against Perez, Brian Stokes and Joe Smith (2-3).

"We keep the team in the game, because we understand we have a really good offense," Perez said.

It was held in check for most of the night, with the Mets stranding 10 runners.

Their frustrations began in the first, when Florida third baseman Helms made a spectacular catch to end a threat. With two on and two out, he retreated and crossed the left-field foul line to make a backhanded catch of a foul pop just before he hit the waist-high retaining wall. Helms tumbled over the wall headfirst and landed in the Mets' bullpen but held onto the ball.

Jose Reyes and Castillo reached on consecutive infield hits to start the inning, and Beltran's sacrifice fly scored a run.

Florida's Josh Willingham hit his 10th homer leading off the second inning for a 1-all tie.

The Marlins scored without a hit in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Volstad reached on an error by shortstop Reyes. A walk and a fielder's choice sent Volstad to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Cantu.

Notes

  • RHP Mike Pelfrey tries for his third consecutive complete game Saturday, but he's 0-3 with a 10.66 ERA in three starts this season against Florida.
  • Dwyane Wade, wearing his Olympic gold medal, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • Perez has a 2.03 ERA in five starts against Florida this year.
 
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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The thrill of the big hit. Carlos Beltran crosses the plate and David Wright says he isn't worthy. (AP)
The thrill of the big hit. Carlos Beltran crosses the plate and David Wright says he isn't worthy. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Beltran
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
Florida

J. Cantu
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS4110111 .306
Luis Castillo, 2B5120003 .260
David Wright, 3B5120024 .292
Carlos Delgado, 1B3100111 .262
Carlos Beltran, CF4125000 .275
Ryan Church, RF3000014 .303
   a- Fernando Tatis, PH-RF2000001 .297
Daniel Murphy, LF4010010 .323
Brian Schneider, C3010010 .255
   b- Nick Evans, PH0000000 .261
   c- Endy Chavez, PH1000002 .269
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
Oliver Perez, P1000100 .111
   d- Damion Easley, PH0000100 .270
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .667
    Robinson Cancel, C1000000 .226
Totals3659547  
a-flied out for Church in the 8th
b-announced for Schneider in the 8th
c-grounded out for Evans in the 8th
d-walked for Perez in the 7th
Batting
HR - Carlos Beltran (20, Gregg)
SF - Carlos Beltran (5)
RBI - Carlos Beltran 5 (91)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Beltran 4 (32)
SB - Jose Reyes (44, 2nd base off Volstad/Lo Duca), Luis Castillo (14, 2nd base off Volstad/Lo Duca)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Delgado, Castillo-Delgado
E - Jose Reyes (15, Misplayed grounder)
New York Mets
Oliver Perez 6321541 3.90
Brian Stokes 1000000 3.00
Joe Smith (W,2-3) 1100110 3.93
Luis Ayala (S,3) 1422010 5.57
IBB - Uggla by Oliver Perez
WP - Oliver Perez (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 113-64, Brian Stokes 13-9, Joe Smith 16-8, Luis Ayala 32-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 7-7, Brian Stokes 1-2, Joe Smith 1-0, Luis Ayala 2-0
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 26, Brian Stokes 3, Joe Smith 4, Luis Ayala 7
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS3120200 .297
Paul Lo Duca, C4000003 .236
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Jacobs, PH1011000 .238
    Alfredo Amezaga, PR0000000 .257
Jorge Cantu, 1B4022002 .277
Wes Helms, 3B5000015 .240
Josh Willingham, LF2111200 .260
Cody Ross, CF4010021 .259
Dan Uggla, 2B2000200 .260
Jeremy Hermida, RF4110013 .253
Chris Volstad, P2100010 .063
    Joe Nelson, P0000000 .000
   b- Luis Gonzalez, PH1000000 .262
    Matt Treanor, C0000000 .232
   c- John Baker, PH1000011 .250
Totals3348466  
a-singled for Gregg in the 9th
b-grounded out for Nelson in the 7th
c-struck out for Treanor in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jorge Cantu (33, Ayala)
3B - Cody Ross (5, Perez)
HR - Josh Willingham (10, Perez)
SF - Jorge Cantu (6)
RBI - Mike Jacobs (74), Jorge Cantu 2 (72), Josh Willingham (38)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs (40), Jorge Cantu (30)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Jorge Cantu (19, Misplayed grounder)
Florida Marlins
Chris Volstad 6.1511350 3.20
Joe Nelson (H,8) 0.2000110 1.86
Arthur Rhodes (H,20) 0.2100010 2.22
Matt Lindstrom (H,14) 0.1000000 3.50
Kevin Gregg (BS,9; L,6-8) 1344001 3.79
HBP - Delgado (by Kevin Gregg)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 104-65, Joe Nelson 12-7, Arthur Rhodes 12-8, Matt Lindstrom 5-4, Kevin Gregg 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 8-6, Joe Nelson 1-0, Arthur Rhodes 1-1, Matt Lindstrom 1-0, Kevin Gregg 1-2
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 27, Joe Nelson 3, Arthur Rhodes 4, Matt Lindstrom 1, Kevin Gregg 7
Game Information
Attendance - 20043
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Scott Barry