Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 4

Florida leads 2-0 (as of 8/31)

Game 1: Monday, August 30
Florida6Final
NY Mets4
Game 2: Tuesday, August 31
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in 10
NY Mets0
Game 3: Wednesday, September 1
Florida5Final
NY Mets4
Game 4: Thursday, September 2
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NY Mets6

Marlins 5

(68-62, 33-33 away)

Mets 0

(60-71, 32-33 home)

    7:10 PM ET, August 31, 2004

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    12345678910 R H E
    FLA 0011030000 5 - -
    NYM 000000000 - 0 - -

    W: J. Beckett (6-8)

    L: S. Trachsel (10-12)

    Beckett gets first shutout of the year

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Josh Beckett saved his best for the Big Apple again.

    Beckett pitched a six-hitter for his first regular-season shutout, leading the Florida Marlins over the New York Mets 5-0 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

    Of course, it wasn't quite the finest performance of Beckett's four-year major league career. He threw two shutouts in the 2003 postseason, including a five-hitter in a 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium in the World Series clincher.

    "Maybe I'm more comfortable here, I don't know," Beckett said. "I was just going to go at 'em today -- I'm not going to pick."

    Juan Pierre hit a two-run single and the Marlins took advantage of a career-high seven walks by Steve Trachsel, who lost his fourth straight start. Beckett drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk and Paul Lo Duca had an RBI single.

    Florida, which moved within three games of the NL wild-card lead, won for the eighth time in 10 games to improve to six games over .500 for the first time since June 24.

    "We're relaxed because everybody counted us out already. That's the way we like it," manager Jack McKeon said. "That's what happened last year -- they can't win. Fine, great."

    Beckett (6-8) struck out two and walked none to win for only the second time since May 20, when he beat Houston 4-3. The World Series MVP was 1-5 with a 5.21 ERA in his previous 10 starts, but he dominated New York's depleted lineup.

    "I wouldn't say he was as sharp tonight as he was against the Yankees. But it was good enough," McKeon said.

    Beckett threw 80 of his 116 pitches for strikes and retired 13 of his final 14 batters.

    "He pitched the way he pitched last postseason," Mets manager Art Howe said. "Whew! Complete game. You don't see too many of those these days."

    Florida improved to 11-3 against the Mets this year with its 11th shutout of the season. The struggling Mets, who have lost four straight and nine of 10, were blanked for the eighth time.

    Trachsel (10-12) dropped to 1-6 in his last 10 starts. Two of his walks were intentional. He didn't walk a batter in his previous three starts.

    "We allowed him to not throw strikes by not chasing his splitty and changeup in the dirt," Pierre said. "We had a lot of discipline at the plate. We had good at-bats, that was the bottom line tonight."

    Trachsel is 7-12 lifetime against the Marlins, winless in his last five starts against them with a 7.96 ERA.

    "He lost his strike zone. Every borderline pitch he threw went the other way. He was on the edges and just wasn't getting the calls tonight," Howe said.

    Mets slugger Mike Piazza went 0-for-4 in his second game back from the disabled list.

    Damion Easley, starting at second base again for an ailing Luis Castillo, walked, stole second and scored on Lo Duca's single in the third.

    Jeff Conine's fourth-inning sacrifice fly drove in Miguel Cabrera, who led off with a double.

    Trachsel walked the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth, then fell behind Beckett 3-0 before losing him on a 3-2 pitch below the knees.

    "You've got to have more than two RBI in a season to be an RBI guy," Beckett said.

    Pierre followed with a two-run single, making it 5-0 and chasing Trachsel. The right-hander allowed five runs and five hits.

    "Ran out of gas, it's that simple," he said.

    Beckett caught a break in the first when Cliff Floyd's two-out double bounced over the right-center fence for a ground-rule double, sending Danny Garcia back to third. Beckett then retired Richard Hidalgo on a popup to end the inning.

    "Hopefully, he's satisfied with his outing. We definitely are. This is the best I've seen him pitch all season," Pierre said. "We're hoping we saved our best baseball for the last month."

    Game notes


    After the game, the Mets recalled 1B Craig Brazell, RHP Tyler Yates and RHP Matt Ginter from Triple-A Norfolk. ... Mets CF Mike Cameron missed his third straight start because of a viral infection. ... Delegates and guests of the Republican National Convention took batting practice on the field at Shea Stadium earlier Tuesday, followed by a barbecue in center field with Mets players and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. ... Florida reliever Billy Koch was excused to go home and attend to a personal matter. He's expected to rejoin the team Friday. ... Pierre got his 36th stolen base and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. He also got picked off first base in the fifth. ... Attendance was 17,770, compared with 51,777 across town at Yankee Stadium and 21,740 for the night session at the U.S. Open tennis tournament across the street from Shea.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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