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Summer Swing

Mets and Marlins tangle for four

THU 5/26

As expected, the National League East has seen a close race through the first couple of months of the season. Four teams have been bunched near the top, with two to three games separating the lot day to day. That the Nationals are above .500 is a mild surprise, as is Philly's sub-.500 mark. The Mets and Marlins are virtually neck-and-neck for second place behind perennial division champ Atlanta, which shocks no one. Willie Randolph's doing a splendid job in his first season at the New York helm; new acquisitions Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez are blending nicely, while old faces like Mike Piazza continue to produce. But Cliff Floyd's resurgence this season has been a revelation. The former Marlin outfielder is near the league lead for home runs and RBIs, and is batting a robust .300. As for the beloved Fish, Jack McKeon's new arrivals have been a mixed bag. Carlos Delgado fits perfectly at first, but veteran lefty Al Leiter has struggled mightily, to the tune of an ERA north of five. And old reliable Mike Lowell's problems over the first half, normally his best period, have puzzled. New York visits Miami on Thursday for the start of a four-game set at Dolphins Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami). Game one starts at 7:05 p.m. Call 305-623-6100. -- Russ Evans

Spike It!

Coconut Creek serves it up

THU 5/26

In the mood for some good, old-fashioned digging? Not the kind with shovels and dirt -- that's no fun, not to mention an easy way to sully your new pair of khakis. This type of digging includes setting and spiking... and a net. Sure enough, the Coconut Creek Parks and Recreation Department is offering Open Indoor Volleyball every Thursday night at the city's recreation complex (4455 Sol Press Blvd., Coconut Creek). The games begin at 7:30 p.m. sharp; participation is open to players 18 and older. Admission costs $2 for residents and $4 for nonresidents -- much cheaper than half an hour of arcade games at Dave and Buster's. Needless to say, athletic clothing is recommended (rubber soled shoes are a must). Call 954-956-1580. -- Russ Evans

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Russ Evans

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