Series: Game 3 of 4

Florida leads 2-1 (as of 6/5)

Game 1: Thursday, June 3
NY Mets4
Game 2: Friday, June 4
NY Mets1
Game 3: Saturday, June 5
NY Mets6
Game 4: Sunday, June 6
NY Mets5

Marlins 7

(32-24, 16-12 away)

Mets 6

(27-28, 14-13 home)

    1:15 PM ET, June 5, 2004

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    FLA 200000311 7 14 1
    NYM 010013001 6 12 1

    W: M. Perisho (4-2)

    L: D. Weathers (5-2)

    S: A. Benitez (22)

    Benitez's long streak ends, but he still gets save

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Stanton's pitch was supposed to be down-and-in to Damion Easley, instead it was down the middle of the plate.

    Easley lifted it into the left-field bullpen, for a three-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning, helping Florida rally for a 7-6 victory over the New York Mets.

    "I was just trying to get a good pitch to handle," Easley said. "It wasn't that complicated or more detailed than that. It's always exciting to give the team a boost off the bench. You've got one bullet and you don't want to waste it."

    Stanton came in to face Easley after hits by Alex Gonzalez and Matt Treanor chased reliever Ricky Bottalico.

    "I wanted a groundball double play," Stanton said. "He got under the ball and it carried. It's not like he doesn't have the power to do it. He got good wood on it."

    Mike Piazza had two homers for the Mets, including a leadoff shot against ex-teammate Armando Benitez in the ninth. Benitez went on to retire the next three hitters for his 22nd save, and fourth straight against the Mets.

    Piazza's two homers gave him 370 for his career, moving him past hall of fame Ralph Kiner and tying him for 56th on the all-time list with Gil Hodges.

    His first homer of the game, tied the score at 2 in the fifth, and the Mets scored three more in the sixth, in a rally fueled by Ty Wigginton and Todd Zeile, who had three hits apiece.

    But Florida came right back and manager Jack McKeon went for Easley.

    "Where is my long ball guy?" McKeon asked.

    The homer was Easley's second of the season, and just his second career pinch-hit home run.

    When Piazza connected against Benitez in the ninth, McKeon wasn't bothered.

    "It didn't mean a thing, we had a cushion. I have not had a thing to worry about with his performance. I'll take that for the next 25 to 35 games."

    The Marlins scored two quick runs in the first inning against Mets' starter Matt Ginter.

    The Mets got a run back on Vance Wilson's sacrifice fly in the second inning, and then tied it on Piazza's homer in the fifth.

    In the sixth, Wigginton singled for the third time, and then scored on a double by Wilson. Kaz Matsui drove in Wilson with a single, and then Zeile's third hit delivered Matsui for the Mets' 5-2 lead.

    The Marlins added an insurance run in the ninth when Luis Castillo tripled with two outs, and scored on a double by Mike Lowell. ^Notes: Cliff Floyd struck out four times, all of them swinging, after homering for the Mets' only run Friday night. ... The Marlins had just two hits between the first inning and their tying rally in the seventh. ... Benitez's last four saves have come against the Mets.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press