NEW YORK (AP) -- The game was just a few minutes old and the fans
were already booing Mets manager Art Howe.
An intentional walk to Barry Bonds was the reason for all the
noise from the crowd at Shea Stadium -- with former President Bill
Clinton in attendance.
"Man, the fans got on me, didn't they?" the New York manager
said. "I told the president before the game that I was going to
walk Bonds all four times. I probably should have."
Bonds ended up homering twice, giving him 650 in his career, but
the Mets overcame his power display to beat the San Francisco
Giants 5-4 on Tuesday night.
"I haven't seen that winning spirit on this team, except for
one guy," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "Maybe it was just jet
lag. Barry's an amazing guy at that age. Jet lag doesn't know
Bonds leads the majors with 37 home runs. He hit a pair of solo
shots, with his drive in the ninth inning moving him within 10 of
Willie Mays for third place on the all-time list.
"Amazed? How can you not be?" Howe said. "This guy looks at
times like he's toying with people, hitting in his backyard off his
son with a Wiffle ball bat."
Bonds had a sore throat and did not speak to reporters after the
The Mets used a three-run second inning against Sidney Ponson to
jump-start their third victory in five meetings with the NL West
leaders this season.
Rookie Aaron Heilman (2-5) allowed seven hits and three runs in
five innings to snap a three-game personal losing streak.
"I felt better tonight," Heilman said. And I was able to put
my pitches pretty much where I wanted to."
Except for a slider to Bonds in the third inning. The slugger
hit Heilman's first pitch into the first deck of seats in right
"I didn't feel any awe," Heilman said. "I thought I made some
pretty good pitches on him and he let them go. Unfortunately, he
swung at my mistakes."
Heilman came out to pitch the sixth, but was replaced by Grant
Roberts to start the inning. Howe said Heilman was definitely
coming out of the game, but because the bottom of the fifth was so
fast, Roberts needed more time to warm up.
David Weathers pitched two innings for his third save in four
Ponson (0-2), acquired by the NL West leaders in a trade with
Baltimore last week, labored through his second start with the
Giants. He gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. The
bulky right-hander was 14-6 with a 3.77 ERA with the Orioles.
"I go out there and do my best, but the way I pitched tonight
was the worst I've pitched in a while" Ponson said. "We hate
losing. That's my character -- to go out and win. And I will win for
The Mets took an early lead with three runs in the second
inning. Phillips led off with a double and moved to third on Ty
Wigginton's foul out to right one out later. Vance Wilson followed
with an RBI single to make it 1-0. Wilson moved to second on a wild
pitch, and Ponson intentionally walked Joe McEwing.
Heilman followed with his first major league hit -- an RBI single
"It was good to get the first one," Heilman said. "It was
even nicer to get an RBI, as well."
Roger Cedeno made it 3-0 with an RBI single.
After being intentionally walked his first time up, Bonds hit
his 36th homer in the third to cut the deficit to 3-1. The fans,
who loudly booed Bonds when he came up, stood and cheered the
slugger as he crossed the plate.
In the bottom of the inning, Phillips hit his eighth homer of
the season on a 3-2 pitch from Ponson to make it 4-1.
San Francisco got two back in the fifth on an RBI single by
Bonds and a run-scoring groundout by Benito Santiago.
Reyes gave the Mets a two-run cushion with an RBI double in the
"We missed a lot of opportunities tonight," Alou said. "It
may have been a different situation if we had scored more runs."
Mets C Mike Piazza, recovering from a severely strained
groin, played all nine innings at catcher and went 0-for-4 in
Triple-A Norfolk's 1-0 loss to Richmond on Tuesday night. Piazza
will work out with the Mets on Wednesday, and the team will decide
before the game if he'll be activated from the DL or continue his
rehab at Double-A Binghamton. ... Giants 1B J.T. Snow left the game
in the fifth with tightness in his left groin, and is doubtful for
Wednesday's game. ... Mets GM Jim Duquette said the Mets hope to
sign first-round draft pick Lastings Milledge by the end of the
week. The Mets had broken off negotiations while they investigated
allegations he had sexual contact with girls as young as 12 when he
was in high school