Piazza, Alomar Knuckle Over Reds

Mike Piazza and Roberto Alomar both hit towering home runs, Pedro Astacio pitched another strong game, pitching seven innings for his tenth win of the season and a stellar defensive play by Timo Perez in the fifth inning also helped contribute to the Mets winning 4-2 in Cincinnati on a drizzly Friday night.

Alomar, showing good two-strike hitting form, lined a knuckleball to left for a single, scoring Rey Ordonez, who doubled. That gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. It might have been 2-0, had Jay Payton, who had beaten out a infield chop for a hit, not gotten picked off first base.

The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the third, when Barry Larkin, the ageless veteran shortstop for the Reds, got his second hit of the night, a run-scoring double.

That tie was snapped authoritatively by Piazza, who hit a 3-1 offering from rookie knuckleball pitcher Jared Fernandez to dead center field, over 400 feet away. It was so towering that the ball carried over a 50 foot high backstop. It was his 20th home run of the season and it made the score 2-1 Mets. one batter later, Edgardo Alfonzo lined a home run to left field to make it 3-1.

Perez saved the Mets in the fifth, when with runners on first and second and one out, Todd Walker hit a long fly ball to left center field. Perez made a great running catch and then had the presence of mind to wheel around and throw the ball to second to double up the runner and get out of the inning.

The Reds closed to within 4-2 when Russell Branyan, who was acquired in an early season trade with the Cleveland Indians, hit an opposite field solo home run to left field, out of even Perez's reach.

Alomar hit a shot of his own, hitting from the right side off of former Met Bruce Chen to make it 4-2.

Mark Guthrie, Scott Strickland and Armando Benitez shut down the Reds in the eighth and ninth innings. Benitez got save number 22 on the season.


-Roger Cedeno did not start the game, as Bobby Valentine went with the hot Perez in left field.

Alomar, Alfonzo, and Payton had multiple hit nights, with Payton leading them with three.

Saturday's starters will be Mike Bacsik (2-0, 3.21 E.R.A.), the rookie pitcher who is trying to win his third start in a row. The Reds will counter with Chris Reitsma (4-7, 3.15 E.R..A.)

Do you have an opinion on the Mets? Be sure to let us know on the message board. NYfansonly.com is always looking for die-hard Mets fans who would like to be writers for the site. Click here to learn more on how to become a Mets beat writer for NYfansonly.com.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories