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Mets blow two three-run leads in Miami

Florida Marlins jump on Hanley Ramirez after he scored the winning run in Miami, Florida on Thursday.

Florida Marlins jump on Hanley Ramirez after he scored the winning run in Miami, Florida on Thursday.

While the placid demeanor of manager Willie Randolph has been debated with every loss, he has maintained that he will keep an even-keel on the bench.
His team was another matter, though. With each defeat, the frustration and fury has seemed to grow. The reasons to be on edge are easy to see - the latest coming in a shocking, 10-inning, 8-7 loss to the Florida Marlins on Thursday night.
A celebration seemed in order when the Mets scored four times in the ninth inning to take a 7-4 lead. But the bullpen, as it has done so many times of late, fell apart in the bottom of the ninth. Jorge Sosa, a hero a night earlier, was left to pitch to exhaustion - and defeat.
The Mets entered the ninth inning facing a one-run deficit and a scoreboard that blared a Phillies comeback win in Washington - and the prospect of another game lost in the race to the National League East title. They now lead the Phillies by just 1 1/2 games again, the magic number remaining stuck at nine.
In the bottom of the ninth, with a save situation in order, Pedro Feliciano came on rather than Billy Wagner (back spasms) and surrendered a leadoff single. He was lifted and Jorge Sosa, who had thrown two innings Wednesday and has now appeared in five of the last six games, came on to face Miguel Cabrera, who doubled to left. Sosa got Alfredo Amezaga to ground to short, scoring one run and moving Cabrera to third.
Aaron Sele and Philip Humber were up briefly, but it was Sosa's game to decide. He got Mike Jacobs to ground to third, but David Wright made a diving stop, got to his feet and fired wildly as another run scored. Cody Ross then floated a 3-2 pitch down the left field line where it landed just inside the chalk for a double.
Matt Treanor grounded out to short, plating the tying run. Pinch-hitter Jason Wood came on with two outs and the go-ahead run on third, but Sosa got him to pop out.
Sosa then came on to pitch the 10th, giving up an infield single to Hanley Ramirez to lead off the inning. Dan Uggla then ended it by driving a double off the wall in left, just over a leaping effort by Endy Chavez, and Ramirez came all the way around to score the game-winner.
While the Mets had hoped that Wednesday's victory in Washington that snapped the five-game losing streak would turn their fortunes, they fell into the same trouble Thursday, building leads and losing them.
Lo Duca cautioned before the game, "We haven't done anything yet. It's just one game. It hasn't fixed anything. If we're going to go to the playoffs we need to play better than we have. No use going to the playoffs if we play like that."
That seemed like a distant thought when this one was over. Losing with Brian Lawrence on the mound was one thing, but this time the Mets saw Tom Glavine absorb his first defeat since July 2. Now, Pedro Martinez takes the mound tonight in the sort of must-win September game that he - and the team - have been waiting for throughout his long rehab.
Lastings Milledge became the third Mets player ejected in the last six games - and he will likely be the second one to draw a suspension.
Milledge had kept his cool when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning, argued briefly when he was called out at first base on a play in which no tag appeared to be made, and was calm again when Dontrelle Willis threw behind him in the fifth. But in the seventh inning, he got into it with home plate umpire Jim Joyce. After mildly arguing a called first strike, when he popped out to short, Milledge argued briefly and was ejected - quickly escalating as he angrily went chest-to-chest with Joyce.
Henderson pulled him away and Willie Randolph took up the argument. Then Milledge exploded out of the dugout again, this time Henderson and bench coach Jerry Manuel restrained him.
Glavine had allowed just four runs in his last four starts combined, but on this night, he gave up four runs in the fifth inning alone. His night was done after that, having made it through five innings while allowing 11 hits and four runs.
The trouble startedWillis reaching on a double when his roller hit the bag and deflected away from Jeff Conine. Ramirez followed with an RBI double, but was caught trying to swipe third by Lo Duca.
But the Marlins kept pounding away at Glavine. Dan Uggla singled and Jeremy Hermedia singled, then on a 2-2 pitch Cabrera drove a three-run homer into the seats in left field.
In other NL action on Thursday: St. Louis 18, Houston 1; San Diego 6, Pittsburgh 3; Colorado 9, LA Dodgers 4; Atlanta 3, Milwaukee 1; Philadelphia 7, Washington 6; Cincinnati 4, San Francisco 2. In AL action on Thursday: Kansas City 3, Chicago White Sox 0; Baltimore 6, Texas 3; LA Angels 9, Seattle 5.