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MIA@NYM: Buehrle tosses quality start against Mets

NEW YORK -- For an offense struggling to find its stride, the Marlins found themselves on Wednesday night trying to hit pitches that fluttered and floated.

R.A. Dickey compounded Miami's problems at the plate by feeding them a heavy dose of 70-mph knuckleballs.

Dickey limited the Marlins to one run in seven innings, and David Wright blasted a two-run homer that lifted the Mets to a 5-1 win in front of 20,623 at Citi Field.

The Marlins have now dropped all four games on their road trip, and in each outing they had a quality start slip away.

"I don't know if we're facing great pitching or it's a combination of good pitching and bad hitting," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's the combination. Maybe, if we come into the situation hitting the ball well, we'd make those guys look like nothing. Right now, everybody looks like Cy Young on the mound. That's the way I look at it."

Mark Buehrle (1-3) was the Marlins' latest starter to suffer a tough-luck loss. In seven innings, the lefty held the Mets to two runs on five hits. The pitch he regrets is a hanging changeup that Wright belted out in the sixth inning.

"I don't know if we're pressing, or taking it too lightly on the field, at least," said Giancarlo Stanton, who struck out three times and committed an error in right field. "I don't know. It seems like lackadaisical on the field. When it is crunch time [we're] pressing, or whatever you want to say. But we're not getting the job done. No one is not giving effort. It's just that sense of urgency without panic isn't there."

New York broke open a one-run game with three runs in the eighth. Lucas Duda had an RBI single off Mike Dunn, and pinch-hitter Mike Baxter delivered a two-run double off Ryan Webb. Both hits came with two outs, and two of the runs were earned. An error by Stanton in right field accounted for the third run.

Dickey (3-1) struck out seven in seven innings and held Miami to three hits. The most damaging was Omar Infante's fifth-inning home run, which gave the Marlins a temporary lead that was erased by Wright.

Dickey improved to 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA lifetime against Miami.

With one game remaining on the road trip, the Marlins have been outscored 12-4 in the four games.

"It's encouraging to beat a good ballclub," Dickey said. "That's a good team over there. They're going to start hitting. They've got a great lineup. We're in a tough division, so any time you win a game, whether it's by one run or five runs, against a team like that, it's nice."

Buehrle, facing the Mets for the first time in his career, was a strike away from escaping the sixth inning unmarked. The inning could have ended on Daniel Murphy's one-out grounder to first with Kirk Nieuwenhuis on first. Gaby Sanchez went to second for the force out, but Jose Reyes' return throw to first sailed past Buehrle, who was covering first. Rather than turning an inning-ending double play, the Mets had a runner on first base for Wright.

"I looked at film, if it was a good throw, it would have been bang-bang," Buehrle said. "You just have to keep on battling. You can't give in. Pretty much that one pitch [to Wright] came back to hurt us."

Buehrle collected two quick strikes on Wright. But the third pitch was belted over the wall in left-center. The two runs batted in were record-setting, as Wright became the Mets' career RBI leader with 735, passing Darryl Strawberry.

Along with the home run, Buehrle was upset at himself for hitting Nieuwenhuis on an 0-2 pitch to open the inning.

"The hit by pitch, having him 0-2 and hitting the guy," the left-hander said. "I hate walking guys, hitting guys, putting them on for free."

The changeup that Wright hit out was a pitch Buehrle said was a bit too high for the situation.

"It was a good pitch but not in that situation," he said. "It was too high for an 0-2 pitch. You want to waste a pitch or make him chase something. It was up a little bit more. In any other count, I'll take that pitch. But right there, an 0-2 count, you can't hang a changeup to him."

The way Dickey was pounding the strike zone, the Marlins had difficulty getting on base. The knuckleballer held Miami to a Logan Morrison infield single in the second inning before the fifth.

With one out, Infante connected on a home run to left field, his fifth of the season. Prior to this year, Infante had one career home run in April, and that came in 2005. He had seven home runs a year ago, with six coming in his 57 games played after the All-Star break.

The Infante homer, however, was all the production the Marlins were able to get on another baffling night at the plate.

"That's what it seems like every night," Stanton said. "The one extra hit. The one extra mistake. The one [play] that we just can't execute and come out with the win. We've got to turn it around, because we're close, but at the same time it can get far real quick." Comments