Marlins starters take a rest


MIAMI (AP) -- Even after a sloppy loss, Florida Marlins manager
Jack McKeon was able to joke.

"Let me see if I can get Dick Cheney on the phone," McKeon
quipped. "Isn't he in charge of the Defense Department?"

A day after Florida clinched the NL wild-card spot, McKeon used
a makeshift lineup and the Marlins fell to Jae Weong Seo and the
New York Mets 9-3 Saturday.

The Marlins, who had not committed an error in five games, made
three miscues -- one in each of the first three innings. The Mets
ended Florida's five-game winning streak.

"The defense wasn't great, but on the other hand we had a 2-2
ballgame and we decided we were going to walk everybody," McKeon
said. "Some of these guys haven't been out there for a while. This
game you don't need to be concerned with."

Florida beat the Mets 4-3 Friday night to wrap up its first
playoff spot since winning the 1997 World Series. The victory
triggered a celebration that continued past midnight.

Twelve hours later, the Marlins were back on the field with a
lineup that included only two regulars.

"Today was basically a work day, get your work in, almost a
spring training-type game," he said. "I'd rather have today than
two or three days from now."

The last-place Mets broke open the game when they scored seven
runs in the seventh.

With the score 2-all, New York put runners on second and third
to begin the seventh against reliever Michael Tejera (3-4). Joe
McEwing hit an RBI single and Jason Phillips had a two-run single.

Later, Raul Gonzalez hit a two-run triple off Nate Bump and
scored on a single by Vance Wilson.

Reliever Kevin Olsen then hit two consecutive batters to load
the bases and walked Matt Watson. The Mets left the bases loaded
when McEwing struck out to end the inning.

Seo (9-12) picked up the win. He allowed two runs and five hits
through six innings.

Seo had lost five straight decisions.

"I was glad to see him get that elusive win," Mets manager Art
Howe said. "He pitched a solid game."

Florida starter Mark Redman struck out five and allowed two runs
on four hits in six innings. He is scheduled to pitch Game 3 of the
playoffs against San Francisco.

"I ended it (the regular season) the way I wanted to," said

Braden Looper, who has struggled of late and lost his closer
position to Ugueth Urbina, pitched a scoreless ninth for the

The Marlins made it 2-all in the fifth when second baseman Danny
Garcia bobbled a two-out, bases-loaded grounder by Mike Mordecai,
allowing a run to score.

Mike Redmond doubled in the fourth and scored on Miguel
Cabrera's single, pulling Florida to 2-1.

In the third inning, a throwing error by shortstop Mordecai
allowed Roger Cedeno to reach first. Cedeno later scored on a
double by Ty Wigginton to make it 2-0.

The Mets took advantage of a Marlins miscue to open a 1-0 lead
in the first.

With Cedeno on third and McEwing at first with no outs, Phillips
hit a weak grounder to the pitcher. Redman fielded the ball and
Cedeno was hung up between third and home.

Redman chased Cedeno back toward third, but his soft throw to
Cabrera hit Cedeno in the back and rolled into right field. Cedeno
scored when Wigginton hit into a double play.

"That was my first error of the season and I deserved it,"
said Redman. "Oh, well. Better to get it out of the way now."

Game notes
McKeon said Dontrelle Willis will likely pitch five or six
innings in the regular season finale on Sunday. ... Cabrera and
Juan Pierre were the only two regulars in the Marlins' starting
lineup. Pierre was offered the day off by McKeon but insisted on
playing. ... The Marlins entered the game with a franchise-best
fielding percentage of .987. ... The Mets won't have to play the
Giants in a makeup game on Monday. The Giants decided to forego the
game at Shea Stadium even if could affect home-field advantage
against the Braves in the NLCS. "I'm sure a lot of guys breathed a
sigh of relief," Howe said.