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N.Y. Mets «11200000x4101

Piazza tags Pedro for two HRs, but Mets hold off Padres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Mike Piazza hit the ball so well, he turned the cheers to boos. He almost turned the game in the San Diego Padres' favor, too.

Piazza hit two more home runs off Pedro Martinez, receiving a rare curtain call on the road after the first shot, then drawing a few catcalls after he connected again.

Piazza nearly won it, but his bid for a three-run homer fell barely short in the eighth inning, and the New York Mets held off the Padres 4-3 Wednesday night.

"It just wasn't meant to be," he said.

Said Mets manager Willie Randolph: "I thought he got it."

A day after Piazza was showered with ovations in his return to Shea Stadium, Martinez (9-4) and the 49,979 fans again saluted him. At least, at the start when he homered and threw out a runner trying to steal.

"I think after the second one, it wasn't as warm," Piazza said. "I felt the energy shift."

Jose Reyes was in the middle of the Mets' fourth straight victory. He lined a leadoff double and scored in the first inning, then hit an RBI single off Clay Hensley (7-9) and stole a base the next inning.

Martinez paid homage to Piazza, stepping off the mound and tipping his hat when his former Mets teammate first came to bat.

Piazza responded by tapping his helmet in a similar gesture of respect -- remember, they weren't so friendly a few years ago when Martinez nailed him with a pitch while playing for Boston.

This time, Piazza did all the hitting. His two solo shots gave him six career home runs off Martinez, the most by anyone off the ace.

"It's not the first time," Martinez said. "He's had my number, so far."

Piazza struck out his first time up, but got even in the fourth inning. In classic Piazza fashion, he took a fast, inside-out swing and lined a drive over the right-center field fence.

The crowd gave Piazza a standing ovation as he rounded the bases, and kept standing as Adrian Gonzalez grounded out. Piazza thought the fans might "settle down," yet instead they continued to cheer.

Piazza emerged from the dugout, reluctantly, and waved his hand to a big cheer.

"You don't see that a lot," he said. "The last thing I want to do is show up the other team. When they ask you to do it, it's one of those things."

Martinez didn't feel slighted at all.

"It was well deserved, well earned, well done by the fans," he said. "I think players of Mike Piazza's category that have done what they've done deserve the credit."

Martinez allowed only three hits, but with Piazza coming up, he was pulled after issuing a pair of walks with one out in the eighth. Piazza is 10-for-26 lifetime against Martinez.

Aaron Heilman relieved and Piazza made a bid for another home run, yet his high drive was caught by Carlos Beltran in front of the center-field wall.

"This stadium is so unforgiving if you don't get everything into it, and that was a prime example," Piazza said.

He likened it to the final out of the 2000 World Series, when he flied out to deep center against the New York Yankees.

"It was a similar at-bat," he said.

Piazza has 18 home runs this season, most among major league catchers. He has 415 career homers, moving past Darrell Evans into 39th place, and 37 multihomer games.

Josh Barfield hit a solo home run in the ninth against Billy Wagner, who held on for his 26th save in 31 chances.

Notes

  • Jorge Posada and Ryan Klesko each have four home runs off Martinez. They had been tied with Piazza, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
  • Piazza became the fifth player to have a multihomer game off Martinez. Philadelphia's Chase Utley was the last to do it, last Aug. 31, Elias said.
  • Padres SS Khalil Greene did not start for the fifth straight game because of a sprained left middle finger.
  • Ricky Ledee, claimed by the Mets on waivers from the Dodgers a day earlier, grounded out as a pinch-hitter.
  • Martinez earned his 206th career victory.
  • The Mets scored their 100th first-inning run, most in the majors.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Piazza enjoys the friendly confines of his old stomping ground, belting two HRs in the loss.  (AP)
Mike Piazza enjoys the friendly confines of his old stomping ground, belting two HRs in the loss. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Valentin
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
San Diego

M. Piazza
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, LF3000101 .305
   a- Ben Johnson, PH1000010 .225
Brian Giles, RF3000102 .270
Mike Cameron, CF3000100 .260
Mike Piazza, C4222010 .299
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3000110 .303
Todd Walker, 3B4000003 .278
Geoff Blum, SS4010000 .250
Josh Barfield, 2B3111101 .286
Clay Hensley, P0000000 .061
   b- Rob Bowen, PH1000001 .288
    Alan Embree, P0000000 .000
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
   c- Josh Bard, PH1000000 .329
Totals30343538 
a-struck out for Roberts in the 9th
b-grounded out for Hensley in the 7th
c-grounded out for Meredith in the 9th
Batting
HR - Mike Piazza 2 (18, P. Martinez, P. Martinez), Josh Barfield (8, Wagner)
SH - Clay Hensley 2 (3)
RBI - Mike Piazza 2 (51), Josh Barfield (36)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Piazza (18)
Team LOB - 7
San Diego Padres
Clay Hensley (L,7-9) 6944460 4.41
Alan Embree 0.2100120 3.40
Cla Meredith 1.1000010 1.35
IBB - Milledge by Clay Hensley, by Chavez
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Hensley 106-63, Alan Embree 17-9, Cla Meredith 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Hensley 9-2, Cla Meredith 2-1
Batters Faced - Clay Hensley 30, Alan Embree 4, Cla Meredith 4
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5121010 .295
Paul Lo Duca, C5010001 .319
Carlos Beltran, CF3000122 .284
Carlos Delgado, 1B4011011 .259
David Wright, 3B4110022 .311
Jose Valentin, 2B3121102 .289
Endy Chavez, LF3031100 .299
Lastings Milledge, RF2100224 .213
Pedro Martinez, P2000014 .111
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   a- Ricky Ledee, PH1000000 .241
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
Totals3241045916 
a-grounded out for Heilman in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (22, Hensley), David Wright (27, Hensley), Jose Valentin (19, Hensley)
SH - Pedro Martinez (9)
RBI - Jose Reyes (52), Carlos Delgado (74), Jose Valentin (45), Endy Chavez (28)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (29), Jose Valentin (15), Endy Chavez (11)
SB - Jose Reyes (48, 2nd base off Hensley/Piazza), Jose Valentin (5, 2nd base off Hensley/Piazza)
CS - Endy Chavez (2, 2nd base by Hensley/Piazza)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - David Wright (14, )
New York Mets
Pedro Martinez (W,9-4) 7.1322422 3.42
Aaron Heilman (H,19) 0.2000100 4.36
Billy Wagner (S,26) 1111011 2.53
IBB - Gonzalez by Aaron Heilman
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Martinez 108-67, Aaron Heilman 9-4, Billy Wagner 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Martinez 17-4, Billy Wagner 2-0
Batters Faced - Pedro Martinez 30, Aaron Heilman 3, Billy Wagner 4
Game Information
Attendance - 49979
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi