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Marlins vs Mets - 5/26 @ 7:05 PM


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The NL East-leading New York Mets broke out of their offensive slump. Now pitcher John Maine hopes to put an end to his recent string of subpar starts.

 

Maine looks to lead the Mets to their sixth straight win at Florida when they play the middle game of a three-game series with the Marlins on Saturday night.

 

New York's offense was blanked for most of Friday's series opener before scoring all of its runs in the final two innings to beat Florida 6-2.

 

The Mets (30-17) scored their first two runs on errors, taking advantage of another sloppy effort by the Marlins (23-25), who have committed eight errors in their last three games.

 

"It just sort of snowballed," Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "We got a couple breaks, and we took advantage of it."

 

Lo Duca went 4-for-5, and is batting .600 (12-for-20) during a five-game hitting streak.

 

The Mets, who lead second-place Atlanta by 2 1/2 games in the division, had scored just seven runs in their previous four games, dropping three of them.

 

They are averaging 7.8 runs during their five-game winning streak at Dolphin Stadium, though, and have not won six straight games there since Sept. 20, 1997-June 11, 1998.

 

Maine (5-2, 2.77 ERA) got off to an amazing start to the season, but has been struggling lately.

 

In his first six starts, Maine went 5-0 while allowing six runs to rank among the NL leaders in ERA and opponent batting average. In his last three, however, he has gone 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA.

 

The right-hander yielded season highs of five runs and eight hits -- including two home runs -- in five innings of a 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday.

 

He'll look to get back on track against a Marlins team he pitched well against earlier this season, giving up two runs and two hits in seven innings of a 9-2 road win on April 18. Maine lost his only other start against Florida on July 8 by yielding three runs over six innings in a 3-2 loss.

 

Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran had a two-run double on Friday, and is batting .438 (7-for-16) with two home runs, three doubles and seven RBIs in three games in Miami this season.

 

Florida's Wes Obermueller (1-2, 3.71) will make his first start in nearly two weeks.

 

Obermueller, who is taking the place in the rotation of the injured Ricky Nolasco, last started against Washington on May 13, giving up five runs -- one earned -- and five hits in five innings of a 6-4 loss. Since that outing, the right-hander made one appearance out of the bullpen, allowing two runs in two innings against Pittsburgh on May 17.

 

Obermueller threw three scoreless innings of relief against the Mets on May 2, and is 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA in three games -- two starts -- lifetime against them.

 

Despite Friday's loss, the Marlins have still won seven of their last 10 games. They have not lost a series since getting swept in a three-game set at Washington from May 11-13.

 

Florida slugger Miguel Cabrera hit a solo home run in the ninth inning on Friday for his first homer since May 8.

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