McKeon is seventh active skipper to reach 1,000-win mark
MIAMI (AP) -- Jack McKeon added a twist to his postgame ritual Saturday night, sipping champagne to go with his customary cigar.
There was plenty to celebrate. Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run double with two outs in the seventh inning to cap a comeback by the
Florida Marlins, who beat the New York Mets 5-4 to give McKeon his 1,000th major-league win.
"It didn't really hit me until the guys started congratulating me," McKeon said. "Certainly it's something you're going to remember, the way the guys came back."
The Marlins escaped in the ninth, when Todd Jones gave up two singles before retiring Carlos Beltran on a game-ending grounder. They also overcame a shaky showing by Josh Beckett, who needed 98 pitches to get through five innings before departing for a pinch-hitter.
Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer for Florida, his 27th. New York's Cliff Floyd hit a two-run homer, his first since Aug. 16 and his 28th this year, but barely missed catching Cabrera's liner.
Florida closed to within a half-game of NL wild-card leader Philadelphia, which lost to Washington 5-4 in 12 innings.
McKeon (1,000-924) became the 52nd manager to reach the 1,000-win milestone, and he's the seventh active manager to do it. He began his managerial career in the minors 50 years ago and has also won 1,146 minor-league games.
"To be able to hand him the ball after the game is special," said Jones, a 13-year pro. "A thousand wins is a lot for a manager. If you put all of the managers I've played for together, I don't think they had 1,000 wins."
Jones earned his 34th save in 36 chances. He has converted 24 in a row for the Marlins.
The Mets, who started the night 3½ games behind the Phillies, fell to 0-2 on a 10-game trip that could prove pivotal.
"No matter how bleak things look, in this clubhouse we're going to stay positive and keep playing," manager Willie Randolph said. "Things can change around."
They changed around in the seventh inning, when the Mets' Kris Benson took a 4-2 lead to the mound but departed with one out after Mike Lowell and pinch-hitter Lenny Harris singled.
Juan Padilla (1-1) walked Luis Castillo, loading the bases with two outs. Mets newcomer Shingo Takatsu came on to face Cabrera, who hit a line drive that eluded a retreating Floyd in left field and bounced off the wall.
"He almost got it, but I got it over him," Cabrera said.
"It went over my head," Floyd said. "I'm 6-4, so you needed Shaq out there."
Takatsu, recalled Thursday from Triple-A Norfolk, was making his Mets debut.
"Obviously, when you pitch for the first time for any organization, you want to leave happy," the Japanese sidewinder said through a translator. "I feel that I let the team down. I'm disappointed about that."
Ron Villone (1-2) pitched a perfect seventh for the win.
New York's Ramon Castro batted with the potential tying run at second and two outs in the eighth. He swung at strike three and then failed to run when the ball rolled away from catcher Paul Lo Duca, who tagged him out.
The start was delayed 27 minutes by rain, and a crowd of 37,336 -- the largest for a Marlins home game since Opening Day -- sat through light rain much of the night.
New York went ahead 2-0 in the fourth. Beltran led off with a double and Floyd, after hitting three balls to the warning track the past two nights, followed with an opposite-field homer.
Benson retired his first 11 batters before Cabrera caught a break and reached on a two-out double. Right fielder Victor Diaz
lost the routine fly in the lights and then barely missed making a diving catch.
Delgado followed with a homer to tie it at 2.
The Mets scored an unearned run in the fifth without a hit to regain the lead. Jose Reyes walked, stole second, went to third on Lo Duca's wild throw and came home on Miguel Cairo's sacrifice fly.
Diaz had a two-out RBI single for the Mets against Antonio Alfonseca in the sixth.
The Marlins activated roght-hander Jim Mecir, sidelined since Aug. 8 with right shoulder tendinitis. ... Delgado improved to 5-for-9
lifetime against Benson with three home runs. ... After committing his costly throwing error, Lo Duca later threw out Beltran and David Wright trying to steal second. ... As a reward for his 1,000th win, McKeon was given a trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas by owner Jeffrey Loria.
FLA Wins 2-1
- Home Plate Umpire - Larry Poncino
- First Base Umpire - Paul Nauert
- Second Base Umpire - Mark Wegner
- Third Base Umpire - Gary Darling