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Florida at New York

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Florida (74-65) «400001100680
N.Y. Mets (62-77)000000300340

Marlins 6, Mets 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Cody Ross slumped into a cozy chair in the visiting clubhouse and, with many of his Florida teammates, watched the ninth inning of the NL East-leading Philadelphia's game.

No matter the first bus back to the hotel was leaving in 20 minutes, the Marlins are in a playoff race. And boy, is it fun.

Ross hit a three-run homer in a four-run first inning, Ricky Nolasco shut down the Mets into the seventh and the bargain-basement Marlins kept pace in the division with a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets.

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"I'd be lying if I said I didn't look up there after every out in every inning. I just look up there and see what's going on," Ross said of scoreboard watching. "I know [the Phillies] tied it up, that they were up by two, and I knew right before we made the final out they were up by one. I mean you got a lot of time on your hands in the outfield.

"All that doesn't matter if we're not doing our own business," he said before tuning into the end of the Phillies' 6-5 win that kept their six-game lead in the division in tact.

Dan Uggla homered and Nick Johnson had a long RBI double as Florida, with a majors-low $37 million payroll, took their second straight from New York.

The past two Septembers, Florida played a big role in the Mets' late-season collapses. This season, the Marlins are chasing a playoff spot. They entered Wednesday 5½ games behind Colorado in the wild-card race.

"It's completely different, but I think we take it the same no matter what situation we're in," Nolasco said. "We're just fortunate we're in a situation to make the playoffs."

The Mets, on the other hand, have been done in by a parade of injuries to a host of stars and the closest they have come to fielding a full squad since May was before batting practice, when many of the sidelined players including Jose Reyes, Johan Santana and Carlos Delgado were in uniform for the team photo -- a harsh reminder of what could have been in New York.

Facing a star-laden Mets lineup in April, Nolasco went 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against them. This time he cruised into the seventh.

"Back in those starts, if I remember correctly, I just couldn't make that pitch to get out of the big inning," he said. "I feel like a different person from that time."

Nolasco (11-8) gave up a leadoff hit to Angel Pagan then didn't give up another hit until Pagan doubled with two outs in the sixth. In between, Nolasco induced nine groundballs and two flyouts.

"He kept us off balance and did a great job," New York's Jeff Francoeur said.

Nolasco faltered in the seventh, walking David Wright to start the inning. Carlos Beltran singled, then Daniel Murphy hit an RBI double. Nolasco was removed after Francoeur's sacrifice fly. Another run scored on a groundout.

In 6 1/3 innings Nolasco allowed three runs, four hits and two walks. He struck out four in improving to 5-1 since the All-star break after getting off to such a bad start that he was sent to the minors in late May.

"Unbelieveable," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He did a terrific job for us. The four-run first inning was big to get him settled down."

Leo Nunez worked a perfect ninth for his second save of the series and 20th of the season.

With one out in the first, Johnson, Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu singled to load the bases. Uggla followed with an RBI fielder's choice, beating out a potential double play to keep the inning going.

"You got to give Danny credit there for first of all hustling and beating out the throw and saving the inning otherwise we're up 1-0," Ross said.

Ross then connected on a 1-1 pitch from Pat Misch, sending a high fly several rows deep in left field for his 21st of the season. It was Ross' first homer since Aug. 8, at Philadelphia.

Uggla hit his 26th homer into the stands in left-center with one out in the sixth, the Marlins' second hit off Misch (1-2) since the first inning. Johnson doubled off the wall near the 415-foot sign in right-center against reliever Lance Broadway in the seventh to make it 6-0.

Beltran, who returned from a knee injury Tuesday night, gave Mets fans a scare before the second inning, when a trainer and manager Jerry Manuel visited the center fielder during warmups. Beltran ran off the field and down the tunnel only to return several minutes later.

Afterward, Manuel said Beltran wanted his ankle taped.

"He's OK. But I think I'm going to give him a day off tomorrow," Manuel said. "It's almost like spring training for him."

Notes

Gonzalez said Rick VandenHurk, who left Tuesday's game with a sore side muscle, will throw in the bullpen on Thursday to see if he is able to make is next scheduled start. ... The Mets' Murphy hit his 30th double.

 
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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Players of the Game
Florida

C. Ross
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Florida

R. Nolasco
IP 6.1
H 4
ER 3
BB 2
K 4
 

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Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF2100200 .305
Nick Johnson, 1B4121001 .302
    Wes Helms, PR-3B1000002 .278
Hanley Ramirez, SS4010001 .357
Jorge Cantu, 3B-1B4110010 .285
Dan Uggla, 2B4212000 .241
Cody Ross, RF4113000 .267
Ronny Paulino, C4010000 .272
Cameron Maybin, CF4010011 .229
Ricky Nolasco, P3000001 .143
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Brendan Donnelly, P0000000 .000
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000001 .264
    Leo Nunez, P0000000 .000
Totals3568622  
a-flied out for Donnelly in the 9th
Batting
2B - Nick Johnson (22, Broadway), Cameron Maybin (7, Dessens)
HR - Dan Uggla (26, Misch), Cody Ross (21, Misch)
RBI - Nick Johnson (55), Dan Uggla 2 (74), Cody Ross 3 (79)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Johnson (22), Cody Ross 3 (38)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Cantu-Uggla-N. Johnson, Cantu
Florida Marlins
Ricky Nolasco (W,11-8) 6.1433240 5.23
Renyel Pinto 0.2000000 3.35
Brendan Donnelly (H,6) 1000100 1.93
Leo Nunez (S,20) 1000000 4.11
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 105-67, Renyel Pinto 10-7, Brendan Donnelly 15-7, Leo Nunez 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 10-4, Renyel Pinto 2-0, Brendan Donnelly 1-1, Leo Nunez 2-1
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 24, Renyel Pinto 2, Brendan Donnelly 3, Leo Nunez 3
New York Mets
Angel Pagan, LF4020000 .306
    Elmer Dessens, P0000000 .000
Luis Castillo, 2B3000101 .313
David Wright, 3B3100112 .318
Carlos Beltran, CF4110011 .333
Daniel Murphy, 1B4111010 .259
Jeff Francoeur, RF2001000 .265
Josh Thole, C2000000 .286
   a- Fernando Tatis, PH1001000 .266
    Omir Santos, C0000000 .262
Anderson Hernandez, SS3000010 .255
Patrick Misch, P1000000 .000
   b- Jeremy Reed, PH1000000 .255
    Lance Broadway, P0000000 .000
    Sean Green, P0000000 .000
   c- Nick Evans, PH0000000 .222
   d- Cory Sullivan, PH-LF0000100 .283
Totals2834334  
a-grounded out for Thole in the 7th
b-grounded out for Misch in the 6th
c-announced for Green in the 8th
d-walked for Evans in the 8th
Batting
2B - Angel Pagan (14, Nolasco), Daniel Murphy (30, Nolasco)
SF - Jeff Francoeur (9)
RBI - Daniel Murphy (54), Jeff Francoeur (68), Fernando Tatis (39)
Team LOB - 2
New York Mets
Patrick Misch (L,1-2) 6655012 3.86
Lance Broadway 1111100 4.91
Sean Green 1000010 5.01
Elmer Dessens 1100100 2.73
IBB - Coghlan by Elmer Dessens
HBP - Coghlan (by Patrick Misch)
Pitches-Strikes - Patrick Misch 78-49, Lance Broadway 19-10, Sean Green 13-8, Elmer Dessens 17-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Patrick Misch 7-10, Lance Broadway 2-1, Sean Green 2-0
Batters Faced - Patrick Misch 25, Lance Broadway 5, Sean Green 3, Elmer Dessens 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37312
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Scott Barry