Oliver Perez pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and Aaron Heilman added two perfect innings for the save as the New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins 3-0 Friday night.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first when rookie Daniel Murphy reached base on an infield hit and David Wright blasted a homer into the left field bleachers. Carlos Delgado added a solo shot in the fourth inning.
Perez lost his no-hitter in the second inning when Wes Helms doubled to right, advancing our NoNoHitters.com count one tick and marking 7,345 New York Mets games without a no-hitter. He didn’t give up his second hit until the seventh inning when Cody Ross doubled to left.
Heilman pitched two perfect innings for the save, a day after retiring a pair of ninth-inning batters to earn the win in Thursday’s walkoff victory against the San Diego Padres.
With the win, the Mets move back into second place and pull within a single game of the first-place Philadelphia Phillies, who lost 2-0 in 12 innings Friday night thanks in part to a game-ending diving catch by Brandon Moss. Moss turned a potential line-drive hit into a double-play.
Getting the ball on Saturday is former Devil Ray Brian Stokes, who was called up from the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs for his first Mets start. Since Stokes has as good a chance as any to throw the first Mets no-hitter, he’s been officially added to our NoNoHitters.com poll asking who will finally break the curse.
Stokes has 0 votes as of this posting, trailing Orlando Hernandez and Brandon Knight by 1. We started the season with the Mets’ starting five and a couple of disabled list guys and the list has since grown considerably, as anyone who gets a start and remains with the club or its affiliates keeps his spot. Other AAA vote-getters include Nelson Figueroa (5 votes), Tony Armas Jr. (3 votes) and Claudio Vargas (2 Votes)
Despite the long list of names, 24 percent of our voters still think it’ll be “Some other guy” who finally hurls a Mets’ no-no.