NEW YORK (AP) - Jack McKeon argued his case from one corner of the diamond to the other. Where his Florida Marlins were outmatched, however, was at the plate and on the mound.
Dillon Gee pitched six effective innings and the New York Mets, back on the field following a two-day break because of Hurricane Irene, finished off a doubleheader sweep of fading Florida with a 5-1 victory Monday night.
``You feel like you're playing all day and getting beat all day,' Marlins slugger Mike Stanton said. ``You can't put it on days off. They had the same days off.'
R.A. Dickey shut down the sluggish Marlins in the opener, pitching seven spotless innings in a 2-1 victory for his first win since July 25.
The last-place Marlins are 4-19 since a three-game winning streak that culminated with two victories at Citi Field in early August.
``I've never been this frustrated,' pitcher Ricky Nolasco said. ``We just never catch any breaks.'
Both teams were playing for the first time since Friday due to the dangerous weather that battered the East Coast over the weekend. The Marlins rode out the storm in Philadelphia, then bused up to New York on Sunday night.
After his team sat waiting in a hotel for two days, McKeon thought Dickey was the wrong guy to face because of his nasty knuckleball.
``We had a tough time with him,' the manager said. ``They probably were trying to see the soft stuff and hit it out of the ballpark. It doesn't work that way.'
The only runs for Florida all day came on solo homers by Gaby Sanchez and Greg Dobbs.
The sky was clear for the opener of a five-game series, a makeup of an Aug. 3 rainout. But the 80-year-old McKeon was irritated early.
The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the third on a walk and two soft singles - one misplayed by Stanton in right field. Anibal Sanchez had a chance to escape unscathed, but had trouble finding first base with his foot on a potential 3-6-1 double play. Josh Thole ran into the pitcher at the bag, tumbled to the turf and was called safe on a close play, allowing a run to score.
McKeon waddled from the third-base dugout over to first for a long argument with umpire Mike Estabrook and crew chief Fieldin Culbreth. An animated McKeon, barking the whole way, then tracked Culbreth side by side all the way back to the ump's spot at third.
Culbreth let McKeon have his say, however, and the manager was not ejected.
Justin Turner had a run-scoring single for the Mets, who have won four straight following a 2-11 skid.
Mets starters had tossed 25 consecutive scoreless innings before Gee (12-5) gave up a home run to Dobbs in the sixth. All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes scored a run and committed an error in his return from the disabled list.
Manny Acosta struck out all three batters in the eighth - just as Jason Isringhausen did in the first game. Bobby Parnell, who earned his second save in the opener, finished up.
Nolasco (9-10) was chased with two outs in the seventh.
In the ninth inning of the first game, a boy in the stands was hit in the face when Dobbs hooked a foul line drive into the right-field seats, just beyond the New York dugout. Stadium medical workers immediately tended to the boy, who was bleeding heavily. Accompanied by his mother, he was carted away in a wheelchair after the game and taken to an ambulance.
Following the final out, Dobbs rushed over to give the boy a bat.
After the nightcap, Dobbs said he was informed by Mets vice president of security Rob Kasdon that the boy was expected to be OK. Dobbs said the youngster had a deep cut on his nose, but no breaks to his nose or orbital bones.
Dobbs said he was told the boy's eyesight was not damaged, and he planned to call the child's mother to check on him.
``I didn't see it. I saw the aftermath. It's just disturbing. You don't want anybody getting hurt from something that you've done,' Dobbs said. ``I've got two kids of my own. I'd never want that to happen to either of my children. So it's a tough thing.'
Dickey (6-11) lost power at his Long Island home during the storm, but was steady on the mound all afternoon. Floating a few 60 mph knuckleballs at the Marlins, he scattered seven hits and walked one while striking out six.
Florida opened the seventh with consecutive singles, but Dickey picked off Mike Cameron at second with an unorthodox move and then worked his way out of the inning.
Lucas Duda had three hits for the Mets, who won for the first time in five home games against Florida this year. The Marlins had won six in a row at Citi Field since Aug. 25, 2010.
Anibal Sanchez (7-7) walked four and threw 117 pitches in six innings for Florida. He has lost six of seven decisions.
``It's unacceptable. He's too good a pitcher to be messing around like that,' McKeon said. ``Somewhere along the line you've got to have some concentration. Close them out.'
NOTES: At the Mets' request, the Marlins agreed to move up the start time for their Sept. 7 game in Miami two hours to 5:10 p.m. The following day, New York has a doubleheader at home against Atlanta beginning at 4:10 p.m. to make up the two games postponed this past weekend by Hurricane Irene. ... Florida fell to 9-35 when SS Hanley Ramirez (sprained left shoulder) is not in the starting lineup. ... Stanton went down in a heap after he was hit high on the left shoulder by Acosta's fastball in the seventh. He was shaken up, but remained in the game. ... Nolasco was 3-0 with a 4.11 ERA in eight starts against the Mets since they last beat him on April 11, 2009.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved