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GAME DAY RECAP Monday, July 15
NEW YORK (AP) -- When Mike Bacsik was called up to the majors, he didn't expect to stay long. His plans might soon change.
Bacsik pitched a seven-hitter in his second major league start, and Mo Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz homered to lead the New York Mets to an 8-3 win over the Florida Marlins on Monday night.
"I only packed for about six days, so I have to get ready to do some laundry,'' Bacsik said. "I hope I can stay up here.''
Bacsik became the first Mets rookie to toss a complete game since Masato Yoshii on May 21, 1998, and only the fourth New York pitcher in the last 25 years to win his first two career starts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Eric Hillman (1992), Dave Telgheder (1993) and Robert Person (1995-96) were the others.
Bacsik, called up to replace injured starter Steve Trachsel, beat the Marlins 5-3 in his first big league start 10 days ago. This time he was even more impressive, flashing a good curveball and showing sharp control.
"I know as a rookie every game's not going to be like this,'' said Bacsik, who said about 40 or 50 friends and family members were watching back home at Bobby Valentine's restaurant in Arlington, Texas. "I was nervous before the game. I just had to tell myself to trust myself and go out and have fun -- I'm playing a baseball game.''
Bacsik (2-0) struck out seven, walked one and drove in a run with a suicide squeeze bunt to send the Marlins to their season-high fifth straight loss.
"Hopefully, we can catch this thing before it gets way too far,'' Florida catcher Charles Johnson said.
Bacsik, whose father, Mike, pitched in the majors for Texas and Minnesota from 1975-80, got a nice hand from the crowd of 39,706 when Valentine let him hit in the eighth inning. The 24-year-old left-hander threw 111 pitches in a game that took just 2 hours, 25 minutes.
"That's twice he's looked good. He knows how to pitch,'' Marlins manager Jeff Torborg said.
Florida's Kevin Millar homered twice, and Preston Wilson hit a solo shot.
Even with All-Star catcher Mike Piazza scratched from the starting lineup because of a sore lower back, the Mets enjoyed one of their best offensive games of the season. New York climbed back to .500 and moved out of a tie for third place with Florida in the NL East.
New York took a 2-0 lead in the first on Vaughn's sacrifice fly and Edgardo Alfonzo's two-out RBI single. Burnitz, slowly breaking out of a season-long slump, hit a solo shot to left off Brad Penny (3-4) in the third inning. It was his 10th of the year and first since June 24 off Atlanta's Kevin Millwood.
Roger Cedeno singled with one out in the fourth and scored from first on Vance Wilson's double. Wilson went to third on the throw to the plate, then took off for home on the next pitch. Bacsik dropped a nice bunt toward third for his first career RBI and a 5-1 lead.
After Burnitz walked in the fifth, Vaughn sent a 3-1 pitch an estimated 451 feet over the right-field bullpen for his 12th home run of the season.
"That's what we've been waiting for,'' Alfonzo said. "We put it all together.''
Cedeno added an RBI single to make it 8-1.
Wilson hit a long home run over the left-center bleachers in the sixth, his 16th of the season. The former Met has five homers against New York this season and 16 in his career since being traded in a package for Piazza in 1998.
Penny struggled with his control and was roughed up in his third start since coming off the disabled list. He gave up eight runs, eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings to remain winless since April 27.
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