MIAMI – Pinch-hitter Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer off Billy Wagner with one out in the ninth inning, and the Florida Marlins rallied to beat the New York Mets 6-5 Tuesday night.

Miguel Olivo singled on the first pitch to start the ninth and reached second on a sacrifice. Willingham pulled the first pitch over the scoreboard for his 16th homer and his first pinch-hit of the season, snapping New York’s four-game winning streak.

Carlos Beltran hit his fifth home run in three games for the Mets and Jose Reyes had a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning.

Wagner (3-2) blew a save for the fifth time in 27 chances. Matt Herges (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

The game-ending homer was the first for the Marlins since Mike Lowell hit one on May 29, 2004 – also against the Mets.

Reyes broke a 4-all tie when he homered off Randy Messenger to start the seventh. Reyes also tripled and scored three times. Beltran hit a two-run homer in the third, his 33rd, to give him 14 RBIs in the past four games.

Marlins starter Scott Olsen, who had won his past three starts, struck out 10 but allowed four runs in six innings. Mets starter Mike Pelfrey allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings.

NL East leader New York fell to 22-11 in one-run games, while Florida improved to 13-20. The crowd of 16,641 had divided loyalties, with chants of “Let’s Go Mets!” by transplanted New Yorkers answered with jeers from Marlins fans.

Hanley Ramirez hit his 10th homer for Florida. Marlins center fielder Alfredo Amezaga struck out with the bases loaded to end the sixth and misplayed a fly ball in the Mets’ three-run third.

Amezaga failed to retreat on Reyes’ liner and let the ball carry over his head for a triple. Paul Lo Duca then hit an RBI single past a drawn-in infield, and Beltran homered for a 4-1 lead.

Florida tied the game in the fourth, scoring three runs with two outs. Ramirez hit a two-run homer, and Olivo and Olsen followed with back-to-back doubles. Olsen’s extra-base hit was his first in 35 career at-bats.

A baserunning stumble cost the Mets a run in the first inning. Reyes slipped and fell rounding third with a chance to score on a potential triple by Beltran. Reyes retreated safely to third, but Beltran was caught making a wide turn at second and tagged out.

Reyes then scored on Carlos Delgado’s two-out single.

The Mets’ defense gave up a run in the first when right fielder Lastings Milledge, recalled Monday from Triple-A Norfolk, let a routine, two-out fly drop for a single. That put runners at first and second, and Cody Ross doubled for a 1-all tie.

Notes: Mets setup man Duaner Sanchez had season-ending shoulder surgery. … Beltran leads the NL with 22 road homers, one shy of Howard Johnson’s 1987 team record. … Olivo had two hits on the first pitch, hiking his average to .538 when he puts the first pitch in play.

AP-ES-08-01-06 2213EDT



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