Mets Shut Out in Their 5th Straight Loss

Josh Beckett and three relievers combined on a six-hit shutout, as Florida defeated Steve Trachsel and the Mets 5-0 in the opener of a three-game series at Shea Stadium. Beckett (8-7) allowed just four hits over six innings as the Mets' offense could not put anything together Monday. With the win, Florida tied Philadelphia (who lost to Atlanta) for the NL Wild Card lead.

Steve Trachsel (14-9) was the hard-luck loser after allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings. Trachsel entered Monday's game against the Marlins as one of the hotter pitchers in all of baseball, going 5-1 in his last six starts. He walked three and struck out eight for New York, which has lost five straight games.

Alex Gonzalez homered and Juan Pierre went 2-for-5 with a triple and a pair of RBI for the Marlins, who have won three straight and nine of their last 11. Luis Castillo added two hits and an RBI in the win.

Gonzalez hit a solo homer (his 17th HR of the season) to left-center in the third inning to give the Marlins an early 1-0 lead.

The Mets threatened to get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning as they loaded the bases with only one out. However, Beckett induced Prentice Redman to hit into an inning-ending double play and preserve Florida's 1-0 lead.

The Mets tried to rally again in the seventh as they put two runners on with only one out, but Ugueth Urbina got Tony Clark to fly out to right as Juan Encarnacion made a diving catch to rob Clark of a hit. Urbina made short work of Redman, striking him out to end the inning.

In the ninth, Florida added four insurance runs for a comfortable 5-0 cushion. Todd Hollandsworth drove home Juan Encarnacion, who led off with a double and took third on a passed ball, with an RBI single to right field. Juan Pierre followed with a triple down the right field line to score two more and then Luis Castillo then brought Pierre home with a double to give the Marlins an insurmountable 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Nate Bump worked one-third of an inning and Ugueth Urbina threw 1 2/3 frames before Braden Looper came on to pitch a perfect ninth to preserve the shutout and send the Mets to their fifth straight loss.

LHP Tom Glavine (9-12, 4.50 ERA) will look to get the Mets back on the winning track as he opposes Carl Pavano (11-11, 4.07 ERA) in game two of the series Tuesday night at Shea Stadium.

Game Notes: OF Roger Cedeno was ejected by home plate umpire Greg Gibson in the first inning for arguing balls and strikes...C Mike Piazza is hitting a paltry .204 with 7 RBI in his last 18 games. Luis Castillo has made Shea his new home away from home, recording at least one hit in each of his last 17 games at Shea Stadium.

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