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Floyd distracted, frustrated during Florida's game

MIAMI (AP) -- Cliff Floyd might have played his last game with the
Florida Marlins on Sunday.

And nothing went as planned.

Floyd went 0-for-2 and misplayed a fly ball in the ninth inning
that led to two runs as the New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins
9-3 behind a career-high five RBI from Jay Payton.

Floyd also had to sit through four rain delays totaling more
than three hours. And with each delay, he had to hear about trade
rumors sending him and teammate Ryan Dempster to the Montreal
Expos.

"It ain't 100-percent true, so it hasn't sunk in yet,'' Floyd
said. "On the other hand, I'm more frustrated because nothing has
been said to me, nothing has been said to Dempster.

"We're just basically waiting to see. That's what's
frustrating. It's not fun coming to the park and having to talk
about this when my main focus has always been to come here and give
100 percent.''

The Expos and Marlins were trying to close a deal to bring Floyd
to their outfield and Dempster to their rotation. The Expos
discussed trading pitchers Masato Yoshii and Graeme Lloyd and three
prospects to the Marlins. One of those minor leaguers is Double-A
pitcher Josh Karp.

"The way I look at it, I'm wanted,'' Floyd said. "It feels
good to be wanted. They're doing what they have to do to try to win
this thing. It's unfortunate that we're not doing the same thing
here.''

The game was halted a total of 3 hours, 3 minutes -- 38 minutes
in the first inning, 17 minutes in the third, 1 hour, 44 minutes in
the fourth, and 24 minutes in the sixth.

By the time the grounds crew got the tarp on the field in the
third and sixth innings, the hard, intermittent rain had stopped.
Crew chief Ed Rapuano was obviously frustrated, throwing his hands
up in disbelief when he had to clear the teams off the field just
three minutes after the second rain delay ended.

The fans were equally displeased. When one fan yelled "Let's go
Mets'' in the eighth, another responded, "Let's go home.''

"It takes a lot of concentration to get through a game like
that,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said.

Reliever Grant Roberts (2-0) allowed a hit in 1 1-3 innings for
the win, which gave the Mets a split in the four-game series. But
Roberts left in the fifth with right biceps tendinitis.

Florida cut the lead to 4-3 in the seventh when Luis Castillo
singled and later scored on Mike Lowell's single. But the Mets put
the game away with a five-run ninth.

Roberto Alomar had an RBI triple, and Mike Piazza followed with
a pinch-hit single. After Mo Vaughn walked, Payton hit his seventh
homer of the season. He also had a two-run double in the first.

The inning capped a frustrating night for the Marlins. It
started with the rain delays.

With each one, the trade rumors spread. By the time the fourth
one rolled around, players were hearing about the proposed trade
from fans.

"I don't know a thing about it,'' Marlins manager Jeff Torborg
said. "I know what I saw on television. Unfortunately, we saw it
every five minutes. It's all rumor for crying out loud.

"If they made a deal and the guy involved was playing, they
would tell you to get him out of there. I've had that happen
before.''

With the game tied at 2 in the fifth, Oswaldo Mairena (2-2) gave
up two runs with the help of two Florida errors. Lowell dropped a
fly ball in foul territory, but it didn't hurt. Preston Wilson's
was costly, though. He misplayed a base hit that prevented any
chance at throwing out Edgardo Alfonzo from second and allowed
Vaughn to score from first.

Wilson whiffed on Vance Wilson's base hit up the middle. The
ball skipped under Wilson's glove and rolled behind him. Instead of
turning around to get the ball, he faked a throw home in hopes of
holding Vaughn at third. It didn't work.

"What a wacko game that was,'' Torborg said.

Game notes
The Mets struck out 10 times Sunday, giving them 39 Ks in
the four-game series. ... New York SS Rey Ordonez left the game in
the sixth after fouling a ball into his left foot. He has a bruised
left toe. ... Piazza didn't start because of back spasms but is
expected to be in the All-Star Game lineup on Tuesday night. ...
Marlins SS Alex Gonzalez was taken to a hospital for tests after
waking up with stomach pains Sunday. Team officials were unsure
what was wrong but Gonzalez spent the night in the hospital.