Marlins Pound Pelfrey, Mets

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The New York Sun

Josh Johnson stifled the Mets for seven innings, Dan Uggla had two doubles and three RBIs and the Florida Marlins again roughed up Mike Pelfrey in an 8-2 win yesterday to avoid a three-game sweep by their NL East rivals.

Luis Gonzalez and Mike Jacobs each homered and Florida finished a 3-3 road trip with a breakout offensive effort that quashed the Mets’ hope of making a statement in the division.

Still, the Mets returned to Shea Stadium after a 1-5 trip and began a stretch where they will play 23 straight days by taking two of three from Florida and jumping into second place in the East, a half-game ahead of the Marlins. They entered Sunday one back of the Phillies.

Johnson (3-0) gave up two runs and five hits to follow up six shutout innings in Philadelphia on Tuesday. He has made six starts since returning from reconstructive elbow surgery, and has lowered his ERA from 4.18 to 3.19 with his last two starts. Johnson struck out five in beating the Mets and Pelfrey for the second time — July 30 was the first.

The Mets had won nine of Pelfrey’s last 10 starts coming in, but he gave six runs in 4.2 innings in this one. The Marlins have scored at least five runs in each of this three starts against them this season.

After a swift first, Jacobs and Uggla hit consecutive doubles leading off the second inning. Jeremy Hermida added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.

The Marlins added a run in the fourth on three straight two-out singles by Cody Ross, Hermida and Matt Treanor, who had the run-scoring hit.

Pelfrey (10-8) lost control in the fifth, walking two ahead of Uggla’s two-run double and then hitting Ross in the back with a pitch. He walked Hermida, then kept his back turned to his manager and stared out to center field the entire wait for Eddie Kunz to arrive from the bullpen.

Kunz, making his third big league appearance, threw a wild pitch to score a run and make it 6-1.

Gonzalez hit his sixth home run and Jacobs added his 25th off Carlos Muniz in the sixth, and David Wright hit an RBI single in the bottom half for New York. Johnson eliminated any chance for a Mets rally by getting Carlos Delgado to ground into a double play.

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