Vance's Big Night Powers Mets to 11-0 Victory

The Mets don't want to leave Texas and you can't blame them. After putting up fifteen runs in the first two games of the series, the Met offense exploded for eleven more in route to a 11-0 win over the Rangers on Thursday night. Battery mates Vance Wilson and Al Leiter led the New York arsenal, who took two-of-three from Buck Showalter's struggling ball club.

The Mets (29-35) have gotten their offense going inside the Ballpark at Arlington. Wilson went 2-for-4 with 5 RBIs and Al Leiter (7-3) pitched six shut out innings as the Mets began the post-Steve Phillips era in impressive fashion.

"It's ironic that on a day somebody who has been pulling for us to get our offense on track gets fired, our offense gets going," said Vance Wilson to the Associated Press , who finished with a career-high five RBIs. "It was more coincidence than all of us trying to prove something."

Ty Wigginton went four-for-five with three RBIs in the victory.

Jeromy Burnitz began the top of the second with a double to deep center and the very next batter, Ty Wigginton, drove him home with a double of his own off Texas starter Colby Lewis (4-5). After Jason Phillips grounded out, Vance Wilson hit a two run homer -- his sixth of the year and second of the series -- to left center for a 3-0 Mets lead.

Texas (26-38) didn't have it get any easier in the third. The Mets sent ten men to the plate and scored five runs on six hits to chase Lewis. Vance Wilson had the big blow with a two run single and Ty Wigginton, Roger Cedeno, and Timo Perez also added RBIs. R.A. Dickey, who came on to relieve, was charged with two runs after allowing two hits.

It capped off a day that had been expected for weeks. Mets' owner Fred Wilpon fired general manager Steve Phillips before the game and named assistant GM Jim Duquette as the interim general manager.

"I believe this is the right time to do it," Wilpon said to the Associated Press about the decision to fire the man who had been the Mets' GM since July 16, 1997. "The proof in the pudding is we didn't succeed."

Colby Lewis -- who has just two wins in his last eleven starts -- lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs while walking one and fanning two. It was the second consecutive time he got hit hard, after surrendering seven runs against the Expos last Friday.

"Colby struggled again. He's not consistent enough," Rangers first year manager Buck Showalter said to the Associated Press. "He had command of one pitch and that was the fastball. Tonight, he wasn't as good as he needs to be and is capable of being."

R.A. Dickey pitched 2 1/3, allowing four hits and two runs before Brian House pitched three innings of scoreless relief. Jay Powell pitched the ninth, but not before allowing three more Met runs.

Al Leiter -- 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA in nine games against Texas coming in -- pitched six innings, allowing eight hits and no runs while walking two and striking out six. Graeme Lloyd pitched two shut out innings before John Franco pitched a scoreless ninth.

Notes
Cliff Floyd hit .333 (27-for-81) with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 20 games as the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox last season... LHP Mike Stanton will have surgery on Friday to repair a torn ligament in his left knee. He is expected to be out three-six weeks... RF Juan Gonzalez missed all three games in the series because of tenderness in his right elbow... Mike Bacsik (0-1, 14.63) draws Aaron Sele (3-3, 6.60) on Friday night in Anaheim for the first game of a three game set...

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