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.''
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.