Dog Days Come Early To Shea in 16-3 Rout

It was one of those nights for the Mets. In a quickly forgettable game, the Astros roughed up Jeff D'Amico and the rest of the Mets bullpen as they batted around 3 times in a 16-3 rout on a stultifying Tuesday night. The sole Mets offense came from two home runs, one by Mo Vaughn and the other by Vance Wilson and an rbi double. They also continued their habit of making rookie pitchers look unhittable, Astros rookie Kirk Saarloos being the benfactor.

After a smooth first inning, D'Amico found himself in trouble in the second. After Orlando Merced led off with a single, Brad Ausmus followed with an infield single. Both immediately scored when Geoff Blum hit a triple to make it a 2-0 game. D'Amico got Saarloos to foul out to Mike Piazza for the first out but Julio Lugo then laid down a bunt single, allowing Blum to score and it was 3-0. D'Amico gave up a single to Craig Biggio and walked Lance Berkman. The dangerous Jeff Bagwell hit into a fielder's choice, and Lugo scored. 4-0 Astros.

Mo Vaughn got a run back in the bottom of the second when he hit a solo home run to right center.

D'Amico gave up his second straight single to Ausmus, and then did the same for Blum. Saarloos sacrificed the runners over and then Lugo hit a sacrifice fly to score Ausmus. 5-1 Astros

D'Amico was yanked after the third inning and the recently re-called Satoru Komiyama came in on relief. He got two quick outs, but then Daryle Ward singled, as did Merced. Ausmus then parked a Komiyama offering into the Pepsi Picnic Area in left field to give the Astros an 8-1 lead. The carnage continued as Komiyama gave up singles to Blum and Saarloos before Lugo hit an R.B.I. double to make it 9-1. It took a great diving play by Rey Ordonez to escape the inning. Biggio hit a hard ground ball that seemed destined to be yet another hit to left field, but Ordonez dove to his right, caught the ball and then made a tumbling throw to third where Edgardo Alfonzo was able to slap a tag on Lugo.

With the score at 9-1, Komiyama was trotted out for another inning, but after he gave up another run and had men on first and second, he yielded to Mark Corey. Corey didn't have much more luck, allowing one of the two inheirited runners to score and make it 11-1, and then gave up a 3-run home run to Blum to make it 14-1. He did retire Ausmus on a fly ball though. After an Ordonez throwing error and Jay Payton's over-running a ball, it was 16-1. When the Mets came into the dugout at the end of the inning, the crowd gave them a mock standing ovation.

Vance Wilson got another run back in the seventh, leading off the inning with a solo home run. They added another when Roger Cedeno hit a run-scoring double to make it 16-3.

Notes

-The Astros pounded out 20 hits and had five multi-hit efforts, with both Ausmus and Blum having four hits apiece. Alfonzo was the lone multi-hit Met, with two hits on the night.

-The Mets try to recover from their shellacking in the second game of this series. Shawn Estes (3-8, 4.75 E.R.A.) will try to get the Mets back on track while the Astros will try to keep them reeling with Dave Mlicki (3-6, 3.67 E.R.A.).



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