June 16, 2007



Sight of pinstripes energizes Mets


Associated Press/Julie Jacobson
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter leaps to snag a high throw from catcher Jorge Posada as New York Mets’ Jose Reyes steals second base Friday at Yankee Stadium. Mets won 2-0.

AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK — Just the sight of the New York Yankees energized the Mets.
Oliver Perez outdueled Roger Clemens, Jose Reyes was 3-for-3 with three steals, two RBIs and a home run, and Carlos Gomez leapt to prevent a three-run homer. The Mets won the opener of the season’s second Subway Series 2-0 Friday, stopping their five-game losing streak and their rival’s nine-game winning streak.
Perez (7-5), a flamboyant lefty known for high-jumping foul lines, allowed five hits in 7 1-3 innings to beat the Yankees for the second time this season. He struck out six and walked three, combining three relievers on a five-hitter.
“He pitched a big game for us in a huge situation,” said Mets closer Billy Wagner, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.
The NL East-leading Mets staggered to the Bronx with nine losses in their previous 10 games, including five straight, while the Yankees were on their longest winning streak in two years. But before a pumped up crowd of 55,159, the Mets (37-28) beat the Yankees (33-32) for the third time in four meetings this year.
“They can motor. Those two guys are fast,” Clemens said, marveling at Reyes and Gomez.
Reyes tied his career best for steals and leads the major leagues with 35. Torre turned to bench coach Don Mattingly in the dugout and compared the pair with Maury Wills and Lou Brock.
“Any time those guys get on base, they’re going to cause havoc,” he said.
The Mets avoided what would have been their losing streak since 2005. The Yankees were on their longest winning streak in two years. When the Mets took two of three at Shea Stadium from May 18-20, the Yankees were swooning on their way to a 21-29 start.
“It’s just about the opposite — a 180 for both teams,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Making his second start, Clemens (1-1) reached 92 mph with his fastball but was around 89 mph most of the time, a little more velocity than the seven-time Cy Young Award winner showed in Saturday’s 9-3 victory over Pittsburgh. The 44-year-old allowed two runs, seven hits and one walk in 6 1-3 inning. With eight strikeouts, he retook second place on the career list with 4,619, five more than Arizona’s Randy Johnson.
“I still feel I need to be better,” Clemens said.
Reyes hit an RBI single on a splitter in the third and homered in the fifth on a hanging curveball. The Mets had five stolen bases in seven attempts against Jorge Posada.
“It’s nice to have some speed because we put a lot of pressure on the other team,” Reyes said.
Gomez, another of the Mets’ young speedsters, made a spectacular play in left field to rob Miguel Cairo of a home run in the fourth inning.
“I’m wondering where that fan is that leans over and catches balls,” Clemens said. “We need one of them young fans again.”
Clemens, who threw 108 pitches, needs one win to become the first major leaguer to reach 350 since Warren Spahn in September 1963. He dropped to 3-6 in the regular season against the Mets — that doesn’t include his famous World Series win in 2000, when he threw a piece of Mike Piazza’s broken bat in front of the hitter.
“I thought his stuff was better,” Torre said. “I thought he was able to command it pretty well.”
Speed helped the Mets break on top in the third, when Gomez bunted for a single, stole second and scored when Reyes singled to center. Reyes doubled the lead in the fifth when he homered off the facing of the upper deck in right for his third home run of the season, his first since April 21. He was 0-for-6 against Clemens coming in, making the homer off the Rocket especially fulfilling.
“That, I’ll never forget,” Reyes said.
Gomez made the play of the night in the fourth, when Cairo batted with two on and one out and hit a fly ball near the left-field corner. Just a few feet fair of the 318-foot sign, Gomez ran to the wall, jumped and grabbed the ball above the wall near the outstretched arms of a fan. He then threw to second, easily doubling up Hideki Matsui.
“When it was hit, I said: Oh, my God, it’s out of here,” Gomez said. “But then I saw the fence. It hits the fence probably.”
That started a string of 13 straight outs for Perez, a streak that ended when Derek Jeter doubled with one out in the eighth. Pedro Feliciano retired Bobby Abreu on a flyout to deep center, with Jeter crossing to third, and Joe Smith got Alex Rodriguez to ground out.
Perez also escaped trouble in the second, when he struck out Melky Cabrera with two outs and the bases loaded. Perez dropped the Yankees to 7-10 this year against left-handed starters.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” Torre said. “The most important is that we won’t see him again.”
Notes: Julio Franco (48) was 0-for-3 against Clemens. They became the oldest batter-pitcher matchup in the major leagues since Nick Altrock (57) of the Washington Senators hit a comebacker off the Philadelphia Athletics’ Rube Walberg (37) in the 11th inning on Oct. 1, 1933, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Clemens and Franco totaled 93 years, 246 days, while Altrock and Walberg added to 94 years, 80 days. ... Carlos Delgado was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and is in a 4-for-28 slide. ... Franco and Delgado took called third strikes ending the fourth and fifth innings and argued with plate umpire Mark Wegner. ... The Mets moved Carlos Beltran to No. 2 in the batting order for the second time this season. ... The Mets have scored first in seven straight games.
Braves 5, Indians 4: Yunel Escobar’s two-run double off C.C. Sabathia (10-2) in the ninth inning gave visiting Atlanta the victory. Bob Wickman allowed two baserunners in the ninth but survived for his 12th save.
Rafael Soriano (2-0) gave up a homer to Casey Blake in one inning of work, but got the win.
Red Sox 10, Giants 2: Dustin Pedroia had career highs of five hits and five RBIs, and J.D. Drew had three hits as the host Red Sox stopped a two-game skid. Julian Tavarez (4-4) pitched seven strong innings for the win.
Barry Zito (6-7) gave up seven runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Giants.
Tigers 12, Phillies 8: In Philadelphia, Ivan Rodriguez drove in five runs and Sean Casey had four hits and three RBIs to help Detroit’s Jeremy Bonderman (7-0) stay unbeaten.
Bonderman also started the Tigers’ five-run fifth inning with his first hit in 21 career at-bats, an infield single to third base off Jon Lieber (3-5), who gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five innings.
Pirates 4, White Sox 2: Paul Maholm (3-9) allowed three hits over seven innings to break a personal five-game losing streak, and the host Pirates handed Chicago its ninth loss in 10 games.
Jon Garland (4-4) allowed four runs and 11 hits in six innings for the White Sox.
Diamondbacks 7, Orioles 3: Pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson’s three-run homer off Todd Williams (0-2) capped a five-run eighth inning for the visiting Diamondbacks, who ended a three-game losing streak.
Doug Slaten (3-0) pitched the seventh for Arizona, which handed the last-place Orioles their season-high sixth straight loss.
Blue Jays 7, Nationals 2: Toronto’s Roy Halladay (7-2) won consecutive starts for the first time in more than a month, giving up two runs and seven hits over 7 1-3 innings.
Adam Lind hit a two-run homer in the fourth off starter Mike Bacsik (1-4). Troy Glaus also homered for the Blue Jays.
Rangers 7, Reds 6: Sammy Sosa hit a grand slam for his 599th career homer to lead Texas at Cincinnati.
His ninth career grand slam off Matt Belisle (5-5) was the most decisive of four homers in a game matching the AL’s worst starting rotation and the NL’s worst bullpen.
Vicente Padilla (3-8) got his first road win, and Eric Gagne retired the side in the ninth to remain perfect in seven save chances.
Astros 5, Mariners 1: Wandy Rodriguez (4-6) pitched into the eighth inning, Mike Lamb drove in three runs and the host Astros handed the Mariners their third straight loss.
Felix Hernandez (3-4) allowed four runs and a career-high 12 hits in six innings. The Astros tied a season high with 16 hits.
Royals 6, Marlins 2: Mike Sweeney hit a three-run double in the seventh inning for the host Royals, and Gil Meche (4-6) stopped a personal five-game losing streak.
Sergio Mitre (2-3), who hadn’t allowed an earned run in 23 2-3 innings coming in, worked 6 1-3 innings and saw his ERA climb from 1.59 — No. 2 in the major leagues — to 2.29. He was charged with six runs and 12 hits.
Brewers 11, Twins 3: Geoff Jenkins hit a grand slam and Prince Fielder added a two-run shot for visiting Milwaukee, making a winner out of Claudio Vargas (5-1).
Twins starter Scott Baker (1-2) cruised through the first three innings before loading the bases for Jenkins.
Rockies 12, Devil Rays 2: Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe hit back-to-back homers in the first inning and the host Rockies handed James Shields (6-1) his first loss of the season. Colorado gave Boston ace Josh Beckett his first loss the previous night.
Rodrigo Lopez (3-0) scattered eight hits over six innings. He has yet to allow more than three earned runs in a start.
Dodgers 2, Angels 1: Derek Lowe (7-6) allowed one run over seven innings and had a career-high 11 strikeouts, and Luis Gonzalez singled home both runs for the Dodgers. Takashi Saito pitched the ninth inning for his 19th save in 20 attempts.
Ervin Santana (5-7) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings.
Athletics 14, Cardinals 3: Dan Haren (8-2) won his eighth consecutive decision and the host Athletics beat up on the beleaguered St. Louis pitching staff. Every A’s starter had at least one hit, and all but Bobby Crosby scored at least one run.
Braden Looper (6-6) gave up eight runs — seven earned — in 4 1-3 innings before he was taken out with an apparent injury. Outfielder Scott Spiezio pitched the eighth inning, becoming the first Cardinals position player to pitch since Cody McKay on April 8, 2004.
Cubs 4, Padres 1: In Chicago, Mike Fontenot and Alfonso Soriano homered off David Wells (3-4) in the sixth inning for the Cubs.
Ted Lilly (5-4), ejected after two-thirds of an inning in his previous start against Atlanta for hitting Edgar Renteria with a pitch, allowed six hits over eight innings.
Ryan Dempster worked the ninth for his 15th save in 17 opportunities.



Top ‘A’ squads still deadlocked

Gator’s Tavern and Grand Rental Station remained deadlocked atop the Cortland Men’s Slow Pitch League’s A Division with victories Friday night.
Both teams are 11-1 after Gator’s whipped Woodman’s Pub/Mark’s Pizzeria 16-3 and Grand Rental Station shaded Central City Bar and Grill 20-19.
In other A Division games Red Dragon bested Dark Horse/Hairy Tony’s 13-5 and Klever Lawn-N-Landscapes was a 10-8 winner over St. Charles.
In the B Division, X-treme Performance downed Friends 24-20, Palm Gardens defeated Time Warner 12-5 and Aflac rolled past Ivan’s 23-8.
Gator’s 16, Woodman’s/Mark’s 3: Jeff Flegler had a home run, triple and double to lead Gator’s, while Brad Robison homered, Troy Boice cracked two doubles and Ryan Tilebein also had a two-bagger. Brian McCall doubled for Woodman’s/Mark’s.
Grand Rental 20, Central City19: A seven-run fifth inning enabled the winners to erase an 18-13 deficit and take the lead for good. Seth Montgomery went 4-for-4 with a triple and double, while Justin and Waylon DeGraw both went 3-for-4 and Ryan Stevens went 2-for-3 with a homer and scored three runs. Dennis Hopkins went 4-for-4 with a homer for Central City, while Bill Francis and Jeff Carr were both 4-for-5 and Jeff Hopkins 3-for-4.
Red Dragon 13, Dark Horse/Hairy Tony’s 5: Dan Edwards went 4-for-4 with four RBIs for Red Dragon, which scored the first 12 runs of the game. Ed Kelly went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Greco, Coon and J. Beattie all went 2-for-3. L. Mauzy went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Dark Horse/Hairy Tony’s, while J. Bennison went 2-for-3 and Vinnie Seibel also drove in two runs.
Klever Lawn 10, St. Charles 8: G. Talbot (triple) and B. Harvey (double) both went 3-for-4 to pace Klever, while Mitch Bush, Matt Price and Leo Mayer all went 2-for-4 and P. Williamee tripled. L. Armstrong homered for St. Charles.
Friends 14, X-treme Performance 12: Friends scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh, the final two on a game-winning homer from Mike Russell, to overcome a 12-8 deficit. Dave Gasho went 4-for-4 with two doubles, including one in the seventh, and scored ahead of Russell on the game-ending round-tripper. Tim Robison went 3-for-4 with two doubles for the winners, while Tim Slocum went 4-for-4 with a triple and double and L. Finnerty was 3-for-5 for X-treme Performance.
Palm Gardens 12, Time Warner 5: Palm Gardens reached .500 by winning for the sixth time in its last seven games as Joe Lovejoy went 3-for-3 with six RBIs. Jason June and Toby Walker were both 3-for-4.
Aflac 23, Ivan’s 8: The winners took charge early with nine first-inning runs, while Nate Forehand’s grand slam keyed a five-run third. Tony Keagan went 5-for-5 with a triple and double, while Jesse Hicks went 4-for-4, Nate Forehand (homer), Dave Forehand and John Vosburg all went 4-for-5 and Ryan McAnulty was 2-for-3. Mike Lowie tripled and M. Seamy doubled for Ivan’s.