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Johnson no-hits Mets for 6 as Marlins win

The Mets' Mike Pelfrey wipes his face during

The Mets' Mike Pelfrey wipes his face during the fourth inning as he tries to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam. He gave up a grand slam to the Marlins' John Buck. (Apr. 1, 2011) Credit: AP

MIAMI -- It wasn't all going to change overnight.

The Mets will need a while to shed the frustration of the past decade, along with a winter's worth of Madoff headaches, and facing Marlins ace Josh Johnson on Opening Night certainly didn't help that healing process.

Look at it this way: If Friday night's game at Sun Life Stadium was any indication, things probably are going to get worse before they get better. Mike Pelfrey, the de facto No. 1, served up a grand slam to John Buck and the Mets were no-hit by Johnson for six innings in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins.

"It's the first game; there's 161 more," David Wright said. "It is what it is. It's a loss and let's move on."

Despite a renovated front office and a brand-new manager in Terry Collins, the Mets lost on Opening Day for the first time since 2005. It was no surprise that it came against Johnson, who didn't allow a hit until Willie Harris' leadoff double in the seventh inning. He improved to 8-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 starts against the Mets.

"I knew the entire time we weren't going to get no-hit," Harris said, "but I knew it was going to be tough to win."

As for the whole franchise-rebuilding theme, Collins was asked before the game how he would like the Mets to be known. "Winners," Collins said.

That's all? "Is there anything else?" he replied.

But with the Mets trying to write a new chapter, it was the same old story for Pelfrey and his personal nemeses. He allowed four hits and five runs in 41/3 innings, throwing 97 pitches, as he slipped to 1-7 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 career starts against the Marlins. Johnson's ERA at home last season was 1.57, the best in the majors.

Pelfrey's problems began in the fourth inning when he walked Logan Morrison to load the bases with one out, prompting a visit by pitching coach Dan Warthen. The idea was to get Buck to roll over a sinker for a double-play grounder, but it didn't quite work out that way.

Buck's 2-and-2 shot was a high fly to right-center that just got into the first row.

"I didn't think it was gone," Pelfrey said. "I thought it was a sacrifice fly at the time. I thought [Carlos] Beltran was going to catch it, but it wound up in the stands, obviously. That was the difference in the game."

Ike Davis drew a two-out walk in the second inning, but Johnson retired the next 13.

"We knew from the first inning that we had a big task ahead of us," Wright said. "I'll take Josh Johnson on a bad day. On a good day, the chances are very slim of getting to him."

After Harris broke up the bid, Beltran doubled home a run and Angel Pagan reached on an infield single. Davis made it 5-2 with a groundout and Brad Emaus drew a walk to end Johnson's night. Scott Hairston pinch hit for Josh Thole and struck out against lefthander Michael Dunn on four pitches.

"That's why we got him -- because he does damage to lefthanded pitching," Collins said. "You can't look down the road and think we're going to get another opportunity. But at least we fought back in it."


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