Mets come back twice to edge Marlins


NEW YORK (AP) -- For Jay Payton, it was just a matter of waiting
for his pitch.

``In that situation, I just wanted to be patient,'' said Payton,
whose bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning gave the Mets a 5-4
victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday night.

Vic Darensbourg (1-1) walked four batters in the 10th inning, as the
Mets overcame Armando Benitez's first blown save of the year.

``This time, I thought I would take some pitches,'' said Payton,
who has a reputation as an anxious free-swinger at the plate.

After Tim Raines tied the game with two outs in the ninth
against Benitez with his first career pinch homer, the Mets won it
in the 10th.

``I don't really go up to the plate and try to hit the ball out
of the ballpark. That's something the big guys do,'' Raines said.

Mets manager Bobby Valentine was impressed by Raines' home run.

``A 95 mph fastball and he hit it out. He's a pro, no

Roberto Alomar and Mike Piazza walked to start the Mets 10th
inning. In a sacrifice situation, Jeromy Burnitz missed a bunt
attempt and the Marlins appeared to have Alomar caught between
second and third base.

Catcher Charles Johnson hesitated and Alomar was able to retreat
back to second safely, barely beating Johnson's throw.

Burnitz then got a successful sacrifice down and Edgardo Alfonzo
was intentionally walked to load the bases. Darensbourg then missed
on a 3-1 pitch to Payton, driving in the winning run.

Payton, a right-hand hitter, was thinking he might not face the
left-handed Darensbourg.

``I though they might bring in the righty, (Vladimir) Nunez, but
I guess they figured my numbers were about the same either way,''
Payton said.

After Benitez blew his first save in 10 chances, Scott
Strickland (4-2) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

``I threw him my best pitch and he hit it,'' Benitez said.

New York trailed 3-1 going into the eighth, Roger Cedeno led off
with a double and scored on Alomar's double. One out later, Burnitz
lofted his eighth homer and first since May 3 into the Mets bullpen
in right-field.

Florida took a 3-0 lead over the first five innings as Mike
Lowell drove in three runs and starter Josh Beckett allowed only
two hits in six innings.

Lowell singled in two runs in the third inning and doubled home
another in the fifth as Beckett, making only his 12th major league
start, held the Mets to a pair of singles over the first six

Beckett struck out six and walked only two but both walks came
in the fifth inning and helped the Mets build a run

Beckett retired the first 12 Mets before walking Burnitz on four
pitches to open the fifth. He then walked Mark Johnson with two
outs before Rey Ordonez singled to left to score Burnitz and cut
the Marlins lead to 3-1.

Mets starter Shawn Estes contributed to his own problems with a
wild throw on an attempted pickoff that helped set up the first two
Marlins runs in the third inning.

Preston Wilson walked, moved to second on Cliff Floyd's single
to right then took third on Estes' wild throw to second on an
attempted pickoff. Floyd advanced to second on the error.

Lowell then singled both runners home.

Wilson doubled with one out in the fifth and scored on Lowell's
two-out double, putting the Marlins in front, 3-0.

Game notes
Mets are now 2-4 in extra innings, Marlins are 2-2. ...
Beckett made his first career start against the Mets. ... Having
played three errorless games in a row, the Mets picked up one on
Estes' wild throw to second trying to pick off Preston Wilson in
the third inning. ... Lowell has 19 multihit games, tops on the
Marlins and is tied for the club lead in RBI with Floyd at 33. ...
Raines is playing his 21st season in the majors.