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On special night, Mets defeat Marlins at home

NEW YORK -- Steve Trachsel has repeatedly given the New York
Mets opportunities to win and wasn't about to change his approach.

His patience paid off Thursday night.

Trachsel allowed a run in seven sharp innings as the New York
Mets beat the Florida Marlins 4-1.

Jeromy Burnitz and Ty Wigginton hit back-to-back homers for the
Mets, who have won three in a row since setting an NL record by
losing 15 straight home games.

"He has been our most consistent pitcher,'' Mets manager Bobby
Valentine said. "He had a great split and a good fastball.''

Playing their final home game before Sept. 11, the Mets held a
pregame "Night of Remembrance'' to honor the rescue and recovery
workers who tirelessly labored at the World Trade Center site after
the terrorist attacks.

New York Gov. George Pataki addressed the crowd during the
20-minute ceremony. Between innings, the Mets showed brief
interviews with the honorees and manager Bobby Valentine and John
Franco, and clips of the cleanup effort. Each clip received a
rousing ovation from the Shea Stadium crowd of 31,211.

"Once you get between the lines you compete, but the ceremonies
were tremendous,'' Marlins left fielder Kevin Millar said. "To see
the stories brings you back -- it's a reality check.''

Mets fans continued their recent trend of prodding the plodding
Trachsel to "Throw the ball!'' in the first inning, but cheered
him as he got his final out of the night, a comebacker with runners
on first and second to end the seventh.

Trachsel (9-10) got 13 groundball outs to win for the first time
in five starts despite allowing just seven earned runs over 28
innings. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of
his last nine starts but is 3-3.

He gave up a run in eight innings of a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia
last Saturday.

Thursday night, he scattered six hits while walking three and
striking out four.

"The governor came in (to the clubhouse) and said 'Are you
ready to go?''' Trachsel said. I said 'I'll be locked in.''

Trachsel had runners on base in six of his seven innings but
managed to get out of each jam unscathed.

"Part of my success is making quality pitches from the
stretch,'' he said.

Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his 30th save, his first
at home since July 28.

With one out in the second, Burnitz hit his 14th homer and
Wigginton followed with his fourth off Brad Penny (6-5).

It was the seventh time this season the Mets hit back-to-back
homers. Burnitz and Edgardo Alfonzo did it Wednesday night.

Burnitz hadn't homered in consecutive games since April 12-13
against Montreal.

"He's had good swings in his last two games,'' Valentine said.

The Mets made it 3-0 in the third when Roger Cedeno led off with
a double and scored on Mo Vaughn's single.

Penny gave up five hits and did not walk a batter in six
innings. He struck out seven.

"You've got to credit them,'' Florida manager Jeff Torborg
said. "The two curveballs they hit for home runs were good
pitches.''

Millar hit his 15th homer in the fourth to cut the Mets' lead to
3-1. He has hit safely in 11 games.

Mets added a run in the eighth on Raul Gonzalez's run-scoring
double off Vladimir Nunez.

Game notes
Preston Wilson, who has 18 homers and 44 RBI against New
York for his career, did not play because he had flulike symptoms.
... Wigginton had a pinch-hit home run on Wednesday night. ...
Derrek Lee went 0-for-1 with three walks to end his 12-game hitting
streak. ... Alfonzo left after the sixth inning with a sore right
biceps muscle. He is day to day. ... Roberto Alomar had an MRI
before the game and was told that he had bursitis of his left knee.
He is also day to day.