Mets Maintain Hot Hitting, Maul Angels 7-3

Mike Bacsik was shocked when he was called up two weeks ago, after struggling severely in Norfolk, but now he is making the most of every start he gets. The left-hander pitched five innings, allowing just two runs, and the Mets knocked around Aaron Sele for five runs in 3 1/3 as they went on to beat the Angels 7-3 on Friday night in Anaheim.

Timo Perez went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and Jeromy Burnitz added his eighth homer of the year in support of Mike Bacsik (1-1). It was the Mets third straight win since dropping the opener of their west coast trip on Tuesday night in Texas.

"I approached spring training in the wrong way," Bacsik said to the Associated Press after his second start of the season. "I had a really great opportunity to be in the starting rotation, but I let the pressure get to me and tried too hard."

The Mets (30-35) got an early lead when Timo Perez hit his first homer of the year, a solo shot, in the first inning off Angels starter Aaron Sele (3-4).

In the fourth, New York posted four more runs on RBI singles by Roger Cedeno, Roberto Alomar, and Jeromy Burnitz. Timo Perez also drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right field. Scot Shields came on to strike out Ty Wigginton to end the inning.

The Angels (33-31) narrowed the margin to three during their half of the fifth after Bengie Molina began the frame by hitting a solo homer, his fifth of the season. Consecutive doubles by Benji Gil and Eric Owens plated another run.

Jeromy Burnitz knocked a two run homer in the sixth before David Weathers came on in relief of Bacsik. He pitched two innings, allowing two hits and one run while walking one and fanning three.

It was the team's second win in a row since Mets general manager Steve Phillips was fired prior to Thursday night's 11-0 victory over the Rangers in Texas. Is their any correlation?

"From a player's point of view, it means nothing, other than the fact that you feel responsible that somebody was let go because you weren't playing well," Burnitz said to the Associated Press. "We just really haven't gotten it done this year, but we're just trying to play hard every day. Since we've gotten on this road trip, the guys are swinging the bats well -- and pitching well, too."

Mike Bacsik -- who came into the night have allowed thirteen earned runs in his eight innings this season -- surrendered six hits, two runs, and no walks while striking out three. He took Pedro Astacio's spot in the rotation after the right-hander went down with season-ending shoulder injury.

Armando Benitez worked two perfect innings to close out the victory.

Aaron Sele allowed eight hits and five in runs in 3 2/3 innings for the Angels. Scot Shields came on to work 3 1/2 and allowed two more runs before Scott Schoeneweis delivered two scoreless innings.

LHP Mike Stanton has opted to have surgery on his torn meniscus and is expected to be out 3-6 weeks... SS David Eckstein returned to the Angels' starting lineup for the first time in six games after suffering from a bone bruise on his left hand... RHP Kevin Appier, who was sent to the Angels in the Mo Vaughn deal, will not pitch in this series... Mets rookie SS Jose Reyes made an error on a routine grounder by Molina, his second error in four games since being called up from Norfolk on Tuesday. He did, though, make a diving catch to the end the fourth that saved a possible run... Rookie RHP Jason Roach makes his major league debut on Saturday night against Ramon Ortiz (6-5, 5.45)...

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