Depressing: Benitez Blows Save, Mets Fall 6-5

Armando Benitez did it in Florida. Then he did it in San Juan. Now he has blown another save -- his fourth of the season -- by surrendering two runs in the top of the ninth to the Marlins. The Mets, looking for their third straight win, were defeated 6-5 on Saturday afternoon inside Shea Stadium. He heard it from the fans, who have wished him to be traded for years, as he walked slowly off the field.

Benitez (0-3) came into the game to start the ninth with the Mets (7-11) clinging to a one run lead and allowed a game tying single to Luis Castillo and then the go-ahead run on an Ivan Rodriguez ground ball that his defense could not convert into a double play.

"I don't have to worry about this; I know what I can do," said Benitez to the Associated Press, who was booed loudly as he departed from the mound and began walking toward the dugout. "I don't worry about a blown save. (Pitchers are) human. We're not machines."

The Marlins catcher hit a ground ball to Rey Sanchez, who flipped to Alomar to get one out, but Alomar made an off balance throw to first and it was not in time as the go ahead run crossed the plate.

"I played hard until the last out of the game, because in baseball you can win so many different ways," Rodriguez said to the Associated Press. "You can win with good hustle to first base, and that's what I did."

Roberto Alomar gave the Mets a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth by hitting a two out double into the right center gap that scored two runs.

Brandon Looper (2-0) picked up the win despite allowing the double to Alomar, but worked a scoreless ninth.

The Mets got on the board in the first inning with one out after Roger Cedeno -- hitting second in the lineup -- reached on an Ivan Rodriguez error and then proceeded to steal second. Cliff Floyd then came up and knocked a base hit to the left side that gave the Mets and early lead.

In the third inning with two outs Roger Cedeno took a pitch from A.J. Burnett and drove it up the middle to score Jay Bell, who started and played shortstop for the slumping Rey Sanchez.

The Marlins (9-10) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded after Jay Bell committed an error that allowed Juan Encarnacion to score. The Marlins center fielder has now reached base safely in 16 of 17 games.

Steve Trachsel was chased in the top of the sixth after allowing a double to Derrek Lee that scored Juan Encarnacion and then a double to Alex Gonzalez that drove home both Mike Lowell and Lee. Jaime Cerda came on to relieve, got out of the inning with no more damage, but the Marlins had a 4-2 lead.

Steve Trachsel pitched five innings and allowed seven hits, three walks, four runs -- 3 earned -- and struck out two. He was 6-9 with a 3.29 ERA in 19 career starts against the Marlins coming into the contest.

Jay Bell got the Mets to within one in the sixth after a Jay Bell single to left field drove in Mo Vaughn from second. Tony Clark, who hit a three-run home run on Friday night, came up to pinch-hit, but was struck out by Armando Almanza. Two batters later, after Roberto Alomar walked, Roger Cedeno struck out to end the inning.

Notes
Roberto Alomar continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and is now hitting .294... A.J. Burnett is still without a win against the Mets in his career, sitting at 0-4... The Mets recalled catcher Jason Phillips from Norfolk on Friday and demoted pitcher Jason Middlebrook... Mike Stanton warmed up in bull pen during the game but did not enter... Josh Beckett (1-2, 4.05) opposes Tom Glavine (2-1, 2.91) in the series finale on Sunday...


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