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Los Angeles at New York

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L.A. Dodgers (26-27)000031000472
N.Y. Mets (26-26) «00240020x8130

Wright homers twice as Mets spoil Torre's return to New York

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- David Wright delivered two huge hits. Pitcher Claudio Vargas took a big swing, too -- off the catcher's mitt.

Wright hit two more home runs off Brad Penny and the newly inspired New York Mets dampened Joe Torre's return home, taking advantage of a rare catcher's interference call to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on Thursday night.

The Mets won their third in a row and sent the Dodgers to their fourth straight loss.

"A three-game winning streak, we'll take that. Back to .500, that's what we want to push from," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We've got to sustain it. We've been up and down."

Always popular in town, Torre managed his first game in New York since parting ways with the Yankees last October after 12 winning seasons. Many fans in the crowd of 52,886 at Shea Stadium stood and cheered when he made a pitching change in the seventh inning, and Torre waved and doffed his cap while walking back to the dugout.

"That made me feel good. Considering the game, it made me feel good," Torre said. "It was nice. The fact that I started it here. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but I look at the calendar, and it was."

Torre saw something else strange in the fourth inning with the Mets leading 2-0.

The Mets had two outs and none on when Vargas apparently grounded out -- it looked so routine, Vargas basically stopped jogging halfway down the line and the Dodgers began to run off the field.

"I knew something was funky about it," Randolph said.

He was right.

Catcher Russell Martin was called for tipping Vargas' bat, and the career .082 hitter was awarded first base.

"Sometimes you hear it, sometimes you see it, sometimes you do both. I could see it and I heard it. It was pretty clear," plate umpire Bill Welke said. "Once or twice a year."

Martin "was mad. He banged his glove on his thigh. Body language helps tell you what's going on, too," Welke said.

Said Vargas: "First time I've gotten on base this year. It's like I had to cheat or something."

The Mets took full advantage as Jose Reyes followed with a single, Luis Castillo hit an RBI double and Wright connected for his 11th home run and a 6-0 lead.

"I should have known he has a long swing like that," Martin said of Vargas. "Take away that blunder that I had, it's a different ballgame. I take responsibility for that."

Wright had his first multihomer game of the season and eighth of his career. He picked on a familiar victim, improving to 11-for-19 (.579) with four home runs and five walks against Penny (5-6).

"It's no secret that his best pitch is a fastball. When he gets behind, I gear up for a fastball," Wright said. "I've gotten lucky a lot of times."

Penny's problems at Shea continued as he fell to 1-10 lifetime at the ballpark that's in its final year. The two-time All-Star didn't fare any better against the Mets three weeks ago at home when they tagged him for a career-high 10 runs in 4 2/3 innings.

"It's not the place," Penny said. "I'm behind in the count, everybody's a tough hitter -- I'm a tough hitter."

Wright launched a drive into the left-center bleachers for a two-run homer in the third. His next home run, coming on another 93 mph fastball from Penny, capped the unlikely four-run burst in the fourth.

Jeff Kent and Blake DeWitt hit home runs in the fifth inning, pulling the Dodgers within 6-3. Vargas (2-2) left in the sixth and James Loney met reliever Pedro Feliciano with an RBI single.

That was all for the Dodgers, who have lost six of seven and scored only 12 runs in that span. Before the game, Torre and his team held a regular preseries meeting, and he insisted there was no special message.

"I don't think anything I said initiated any of the aggressiveness. These guys are tired of getting slapped around, you know, basically," he said.

Endy Chavez and Brian Schneider hit RBI singles in the Mets seventh. Fooled on an outside pitch, Chavez threw his bat at the ball and wound up hitting a soft liner off reliever Joe Beimel's glove.

Notes

  • Reyes singled twice and has reached base in 29 consecutive games.
  • Wright grounded out and struck out in his final two at-bats. No Met has hit three home runs in a game at Shea.
  • While Martin was charged with an error for the catcher's interference that let Vargas reach, the runs that scored after the two-out play were officially earned. According to scoring rules, it couldn't be assumed that Vargas would have made the third out.
 
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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David Wright continues his mastery of Brad Penny with home runs in the third and fourth innings.  (AP)
David Wright continues his mastery of Brad Penny with home runs in the third and fourth innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Wright
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
New York

L. Castillo
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Pierre, LF4010000 .276
Andre Ethier, RF4110011 .306
Russell Martin, C3000101 .311
Jeff Kent, 2B4121002 .248
James Loney, 1B4121011 .276
Matt Kemp, CF4000024 .305
Blake Dewitt, 3B4112011 .293
Luis Maza, SS3000010 .321
Brad Penny, P1000000 .190
   a- Mark Sweeney, PH1000000 .095
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .333
   b- Terry Tiffee, PH1000000 .333
    Scott Proctor, P0000000 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Cory Wade, P0000000 .000
Totals3347416  
a-grounded out for Penny in the 5th
b-flied out for Kuo in the 7th
Batting
2B - Andre Ethier (12, Vargas)
HR - Jeff Kent (5, Vargas), Blake Dewitt (5, Vargas)
RBI - Jeff Kent (23), James Loney (30), Blake Dewitt 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - James Loney (11)
SB - Juan Pierre (20, 2nd base off Vargas/Schneider)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Maza-Kent-Loney, Kent-Maza-Loney
E - Russell Martin (6, Interference), Juan Pierre (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Brad Penny (L,5-6) 4865322 5.66
Hong-Chih Kuo 2100000 2.18
Scott Proctor 0.1011100 5.55
Joe Beimel 0.2311000 1.62
Cory Wade 1100010 1.32
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Penny 91-52, Hong-Chih Kuo 26-18, Scott Proctor 9-5, Joe Beimel 15-13, Cory Wade 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Penny 9-0, Hong-Chih Kuo 3-2, Scott Proctor 1-0, Joe Beimel 2-0, Cory Wade 1-1
Batters Faced - Brad Penny 23, Hong-Chih Kuo 6, Scott Proctor 2, Joe Beimel 5, Cory Wade 4
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5120010 .282
Luis Castillo, 2B4231101 .271
David Wright, 3B4224111 .284
Carlos Beltran, CF4120102 .264
Carlos Delgado, 1B4120013 .222
Fernando Tatis, LF4000002 .304
Endy Chavez, RF3011100 .230
Brian Schneider, C4011001 .256
Claudio Vargas, P1100000 .000
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Muniz, P0000000 .000
   a- Damion Easley, PH1000000 .222
    Scott Schoeneweis, P1000002 .000
    Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
Totals35813743  
a-flied out for Muniz in the 6th
Batting
2B - Luis Castillo (5, Penny)
HR - David Wright 2 (11, Penny, Penny)
RBI - Luis Castillo (16), David Wright 4 (40), Endy Chavez (2), Brian Schneider (15)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Castillo (8), David Wright 4 (19), Endy Chavez (1), Brian Schneider (6)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Endy Chavez 1
DP - Chavez-Schneider
New York Mets
Claudio Vargas (W,2-2) 5.2544122 4.50
Pedro Feliciano0100000 2.29
Carlos Muniz (H,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Scott Schoeneweis (H,6) 1.2000010 1.25
Joe Smith 1.1100020 2.95
Pitches-Strikes - Claudio Vargas 88-58, Pedro Feliciano 7-4, Carlos Muniz 4-3, Scott Schoeneweis 15-12, Joe Smith 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Claudio Vargas 8-6, Scott Schoeneweis 2-2, Joe Smith 1-1
Batters Faced - Claudio Vargas 22, Pedro Feliciano 1, Carlos Muniz 1, Scott Schoeneweis 5, Joe Smith 5
Game Information
Attendance - 52886
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether