Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 7/5)

Game 1: Thursday, July 4
New York 7Final
Florida 9
Game 2: Friday, July 5
New York 5Final
Florida 3
Game 3: Saturday, July 6
New York 2Final
Florida 5
Game 4: Sunday, July 7
New York 9Final
Florida 3

Mets 5

(42-43, 21-25 away)

Marlins 3

(44-42, 25-20 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 5, 2002

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 200001200 5 - -
    FLA 200000010 3 - -

    W: M. Bacsik Jr. (1-0)

    L: A. Burnett (8-6)

    S: A. Benitez (20)

    Bacsik's first career win a 'weird one' for Mets

    MIAMI (AP) -- Michael Bacsik left the clubhouse with a game ball and a lineup card -- both mementos of his first major league victory. He probably should have asked teammate Tony Tarasco and Florida pitcher A.J. Burnett to sign them.

    Tarasco's homer and Burnett's wildness helped the New York Mets beat the Marlins 5-3 Friday night -- and give Bacsik the win.

    Winning for just the third time in nine games, the Mets did it in strange fashion -- with just seven hits, a season-high 14 strikeouts and a pitcher making his first career start.

    "It was a strange win, but we'll take any that we can get,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "We didn't buckle under.''

    The Mets recalled Bacsik from Triple-A Norfolk before the game. Bacsik, whose father pitched for the Texas Rangers, allowed six hits and two runs in five innings.

    "I felt a rush of adrenaline the first few innings,'' Bacsik said. "It took me awhile to settle down. ... My numbers were OK tonight, but I know I'm a much better pitcher than this. I hope I get another opportunity.''

    Valentine wouldn't commit to giving Bacsik (1-0) another start. The left-hander filled in for right-hander Steve Trachsel, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained back muscle.

    He got plenty of assistance -- from Tarasco, Burnett and a Mets defense that turned four double plays.

    Tarasco homered for the second time in a week, a two-run shot off reliever Blaine Neal in the seventh that gave the Mets a three-run lead.

    Burnett (8-6) threw three wild pitches that eventually led to New York's first three runs. The hard-throwing right-hander surrendered three hits, three runs and three walks in six innings. Mixing in a good curveball, he also struck out nine. But he couldn't overcome his wildness.

    "It's just one of those games where everything we did went the wrong way,'' Florida's Preston Wilson said.

    After giving up consecutive hits to Roberto Alomar and Edgardo Alfonzo start the game, Burnett struck out the next two Mets. He also struck out Timo Perez on a curveball in the dirt, but it got away from catcher Mike Redmond, allowing Alomar to score, Alfonzo to move to second and Perez to reach base.

    Jay Payton followed with an RBI single -- another run that could have been avoided if not for the wild pitch. Burnett bounced back and struck out Roger Cedeno to end the inning.

    Burnett became the first major leaguer to strike out four in an inning since last season. Cincinnati's Frankie Rodriguez was the last to do it, striking out four July 22 at Florida.

    "It's tough,'' Burnett said. "That's how they scored; they didn't hit me. It was a good curveball that broke too hard.''

    Although Burnett retired 13 in a row, his wildness eventually continued. He walked Alfonzo and Mike Piazza to start the sixth, then threw a third wild pitch with two outs that allowed Alfonzo to score and gave the Mets a 3-2 lead.

    New York made it 5-2 on Tarasco's homer, his fourth this season. It followed Andy Fox's error that allowed Rey Ordonez to reach base.

    Florida tied the game in the first. Luis Castillo doubled and later scored on a passed ball. Mike Lowell walked and scored on Derrek Lee's single. Lee added a solo home run in the eighth, his 17th, to make it 5-3.

    The Marlins loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but reliever Mark Gutherie got Luis Castillo to hit into a double play _ the fourth of the game. Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 22 opportunities.

    "We had some guys on, we just couldn't get the key hits,'' Lee said. "It was a weird game.''

    Game notes

    New York OF Joe McEwing struck out in the eighth inning, extending his hitless streak to 33 at-bats. His last hit came May 25. ... Wilson has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games against the Mets, including eight of nine this season. ... Bacsik was 5-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 22 games with Norfolk this season. He won his last five decisions. ... Florida signed its first-round draft pick, OF Jeremy Hermida from Marietta, Ga.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press