Ramirez shorts out Mets power surge

While Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo had their power numbers increase tonight, it was Aramis Ramirez who did the most damage, driving in three runs, including the go-ahead home run as the Mets continued their slide towards the offseason by wasting a decent start by Jason Middlebrook.

Middlebrook and the Mets found themselves in an early 2-0 hole in the first inning when Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out bases-loaded single to drive in two runs.

Rob Macowiak drove in a run in the second to make it 3-0 for the Pirates.

Mike Piazza then saw Mackowiak steal two runs away from him when Mackowiak made a brilliant catch at the wall to rob Piazza of a sure two-run double. After Mo Vaughn struck out, it was Edgardo Alfonzo's turn to be robbed, this time by left-fielder Brian Giles. Alfonzo hit a rocket down the left field line, but Giles had been shaded perfectly, and he was able to make a twisting, sliding catch of Alfonzo's drive to end the inning.

Apparently Mackowiak made Piazza mad, because in his next at-bat, he hit it even further to dead center and this one was not even close to being catchable. It actually hit the 'P' that was engraved in the grass beyond the fence. 3-1 Pirates. It was Piazza's 32nd home run of the year. Then after Vaughn walked, Alfonzo got his revenge as well, driving a Brian Meadows fastball to deep left field for a two-run home run. It was Alfonzo's 16th home run of the year and tied the score at 3-3.

Grant Roberts came in to replace Middlebrook and was proptly greeted by Ramirez who hit an opposite field home run for his third r.b.i of the night. It tilted the score 4-3 in the Pirates favor.

That was it for the Mets as the Pirates pitching shut them down the rest of the game, with six pitchers coming in after Meadows left the game. Roberts got the loss for the Mets.

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