Lowell's three-run blast spurs Florida attack

MIAMI (AP) -- For the New York Mets, an unfamiliar face on the
mound led to another low-scoring game.

Tommy Phelps pitched seven shutout innings and Mike Lowell hit a
three-run homer as the Florida Marlins defeated the Mets 5-1
Thursday night.

"He pitched a good game against us," New York manager Art Howe
said. "He changed speeds well and kept us from putting hits
together. That was the first time we faced him, and we haven't had
a whole lot of luck the first time we've seen guys."

Phelps (3-2) gave up three hits in his longest outing of the
year. He struck out a season-high six and walked two.

"Phelps did a great job tonight," Marlins manager Jack McKeon
said. "He changed speeds and had their hitters off balance."

"I just tried to go inning by inning, but I was dragging at the
end," said Phelps, whose previous longest game was 5 1/3 innings.

Michael Tejera pitched the eighth for the Marlins and Braden
Looper worked the ninth, completing the combined five-hitter.

Lowell's fourth-inning homer was his 22nd, tying Toronto's
Carlos Delgado and Cincinnati's Adam Dunn for the major league

"I just took a good swing," Lowell said. "He threw a
change-up and he left it up. I knew I hit it good but I wasn't sure
it was going to go out."

Mike Bacsik (1-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on
seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. It was his first loss in four career
appearances against the Marlins.

Lowell's home run opened the scoring.

"Lowell won the game," Bacsik said. "I was going good and
then I threw a bad change-up. He hit it and that was the game. I
was one pitch from getting out of the inning."

Florida added another run on Alex Gonzalez's 444-foot homer in
the fifth. Later that inning, Chad Allen doubled and Juan Pierre
hit a triple.

"Usually they catch those balls I hit like that," Pierre said.
"This was a good game for us. Our pitching came up big and it was
a good all-around victory."

The Mets scored in the eighth on Roberto Alomar's RBI single.

Game notes
Lowell had been hitless in his last 11 at-bats before his
home run. His previous hit was also a home run, on June 15 at
Texas. ... Rookie Jose Reyes went 0-for-4 in his first game in the
leadoff spot. ... Bacsik's ERA dropped from 10.38 to 10.19.