The first five innings were a thing of beauty to watch for Kazuhisa Ishii and the Mets. The last four were anything but.
After shutting the Angels down through five innings and taking a 2-0 lead on Jose Reyes' run-scoring single and Miguel Cairo's sacrifice fly, it all came unraveled in a six-run sixth inning as the Angels romped all over the Mets, 12-2.
Darin Erstad and Steve Finley both homered in that six-run frame – Erstad's a two-run blast, Finley's a three-run shot – as Ishii (1-5) didn't make it out of the inning. He struck out a season-high nine, dominating the order through five innings, but wound up allowing five runs on six hits over 5-2/3 innings.
Vladimir Guerrero was particularly impressive, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored coming off the disabled list, showing that Met-killing doesn't always go away with a change of leagues.
The Mets have sunk into last place in the tightly-contested NL East with the loss, one game above .500 at 31-30. They are four games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals and trail the fourth-place Atlanta Braves by a half game.
Notes & Quotes
DUQUETTE ON THE GO?: Mets assistant GM Jim Duquette, who lost his title as the team's general manager when Omar Minaya bolted from the Montreal Expos to New York, is in line to become Major League Baseball's next executive vice president of baseball operations, the New York Post and Bergen Record reported.
Duquette, who was also mentioned in the report as a candidate to replace Philadelphia Phillies GM Ed Wade, interviewed at MLB's offices in New York this week. He would replace Sandy Alderson, who was hired by the San Diego Padres in April.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: Jeff Keppinger stroked four hits, but it wasn't enough as the Norfolk Tides fell to the Durham Bulls in 11 innings, 8-7. It was the fourth four-hit game this season for Keppinger, who is hitting .344. Reliever David Lee (2-1) got the loss, giving up a run-scoring single to Eric Munson, as Norfolk (35-28) lost a game on their seven-game lead over Durham in the International League South.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: David Bacani cracked a two-run homer and four Binghamton players had multi-hit games, but the B-Mets still fell to Norwich, 4-3. Luz Portobanco (2-4) allowed three runs and three hits in two innings of relief for the loss, following a one-run, five-inning performance from Matt Lindstrom. Binghamton (27-29) resides in fourth place and trails New Hampshire by 4.5 games in the Eastern League Northern Division.
HIGH-A ST. LUCIE: St. Lucie scored three in the sixth inning to back starter Evan MacLane (4-3), who allowed one earned run over six innings as the Mets topped Brevard County 4-2. Four players had two-hit games for fifth-place St. Lucie (25-33), which trails Vero Beach by 9.5 games in the Florida State League East.
LOW-A HAGERSTOWN: Matt Miramontes allowed two runs in the seventh inning, firing two wild pitches and allowing a two-run triple, as the Suns fell to Lake County, 4-3. Jesus Flores went 3-for-3 with a double and run scored for Hagerstown (37-25), which trails first-place Lexington by a game in the South Atlantic League's Northern division.