Wright drives in 2 runs, helping Mets outlast Marlins 6-5 and avoid sweep in San Juan

By David Mcfadden, AP
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wright, Mets beat Marlins, avoid San Juan sweep

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — David Wright doubled twice and drove in two runs and the New York Mets salvaged the final game of their Caribbean trip, beating the Florida Marlins 6-5 Wednesday night.

Francisco Rodriguez got four outs for his 18th save in 21 chances. He struck out pinch-hitter Brian Barden with runners at first and third to end the game, sending fireworks into the sky above the ballpark.

Pinch-hitter Josh Thole put the Mets ahead for good with an RBI single in the sixth inning that made it 5-4. Jason Bay singled home another run in the seventh.

The Marlins lost despite outhitting New York 17-10. Every Florida starter except pitcher Chris Volstad had at least two hits.

The Mets, who have more Puerto Rican players than any other big league team, were the crowd favorite at cozy Hiram Bithorn Stadium. And after waiting out a rain delay of nearly 1½ hours at the beginning, the Mets gave the sellout crowd of 19,232 what they were waiting for during the three-game series.

Wright, who leads the National League with 63 RBIs, helped the Mets score three times in the first. Jesus Feliciano led off with a double, Ruben Tejada reached on an error by first baseman Gaby Sanchez, and Wright doubled them home. Wright scored on a hard single by Ike Davis.

The Marlins were hoping to cap their three-game stay on the island with a sweep. Even so, it was a productive stay at their sometimes home, as the team found stability with manager Edwin Rodriguez — the Marlins took off the interim tag Tuesday and said he’ll lead them the rest of the year.

Florida won the first two games of the tropical series that was moved by Major League Baseball in March from Miami, where the Marlins draw sparse crowds, to Puerto Rico.

But the Marlins’ night also included four errors. The costliest came in the seventh inning, when Wright reached first on a wild throw by third baseman Jorge Cantu. That helped set up Bay’s RBI single.

Cantu later left the game, shortly after stretching far for a popup.

Mets starter Mike Pelfrey was tagged for 12 hits and four runs in 4 2-3 innings. It took the right-hander 40 pitches to get through the first inning, when he gave up two runs.

Elmer Dessens (2-1) got one out for the win.

The Mets made it 4-2 in the second. Puerto Rican native Alex Cora doubled and amped up the crowd with a neat slide to avoid second baseman Dan Uggla’s glove, and Feliciano singled.

In the fifth, Uggla slid along the turf and somehow grabbed a grounder by Feliciano, then threw out the speedster. In the sixth, after the Mets loaded the bases, shortstop Hanley Ramirez caught a liner by Feliciano for an unassisted double play.

Scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m., the game did not begin until 8:30 p.m. due to a passing thunderstorm. Fans in slickers soaked up the festive atmosphere, many arriving with cameras or baseballs to get signed. Rodriguez, the first Puerto Rico-born manager in the big leagues, was a top attraction for local autograph seekers.

In the cozy stadium’s corridors, musicians played trumpets and drums as women twirled in red dresses with men wearing straw hats. Dancers maneuvered on stilts, while a few performers in horned “vejigante” masks and ruffled costumes entertained the crowds.

Also thrilling the fans was former New York Yankees All-Star center fielder Bernie Williams, who played renditions of both the U.S. and Puerto Rican anthems on electric guitar for his fellow islanders.

NOTES: The Mets ended a streak of four road losses. … Mets SS Jose Reyes was scratched from the lineup with a stiff lower back. He will be evaluated Thursday when the team arrive in Washington for a series against the Nationals.

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