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Mets March Over Marlins

Butch Huskey and the New York Mets made this one easy for Rick Reed.

Huskey's three-run homer highlighted a seven-run third inning that sent Reed and the Mets to a 7-4 win over the Florida Marlins on Saturday night.

Reed (8-3) allowed seven hits and struck out eight in 8 1-3 innings, winning for the seventh time in his last eight starts.

"I think I ran out of gas after the eighth," Reed said.

John Franco closed for his 15th save. It was Franco's 401st game for the Mets, tying the team record for a pitcher set by Tom Seaver.

Reed has pitched at least seven innings in 11 of his 13 starts this season. In his last nine games, he has a 1.44 ERA.

"I shouldn't have sent him out there for the ninth, but Rick gave us the good innings when we needed them," New York manager Bobby Valentine said.

Huskey hit his ninth home run of the season and his fifth in his last 10 games.

The Mets trailed 2-0 when Rey Ordonez opened the third with a double off Brian Meadows (4-6). After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two-run single.

Carlos Baerga and John Olerud followed with RBI singles and Huskey then homered.

"You learn from mistakes and I had a game full of them tonight," Meadows said. "I learned a lot."

It was second time this season Huskey keyed a big inning against the Marlins. On May 26, he drove in five runs with a pair of doubles during a nine-run sixth inning in a 10-2 victory at Florida.

"For some reason, I haven't missed pitches in this park like I have elsewhere," Huskey said. "I like hitting here."

Mark Kotsay hit a two-run homer in the first for Florida. Todd Zeile doubled and later scored in the fourth.

Cliff Floyd hit an RBI double in the Marlins ninth.

Notes: Bernard Gilkey and Mike Piazza, both injured in the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Marlins on Friday night, did not play. Gilkey was hit above the left eye by rookie Ryan Dempster's pitch, and is expected to be out for a few days. Piazza, who strained his right shoulder in a tag play at the plate, is listed as day-to-day. ... Taking Gilkey's place in left field was Matt Franco. It was just the second career start in the outfield for Franco. ... Edgar Renteria has singled in his first at-bat in each of Florida's last six games. ... Meadows entered the game with 81 1-3 innings pitched, most this season by an NL rookie, but added just 2 1-3 innings to that total. ... The loss gives the Marlins a 9-29 record in games in which they score first. ... In Reed's last outing, he took a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with a three-hitter against Tampa Bay.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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