Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Mets leads 1-0 (as of 9/23)

Game 1: Tuesday, September 23
NY Mets1
Game 2: Wednesday, September 24
NY Mets5
Game 3: Thursday, September 25
NY Mets1

Pirates 0

(73-84, 34-42 away)

Mets 1

(64-92, 33-45 home)

    7:10 PM ET, September 23, 2003

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    PIT 000000000 0 8 0
    NYM 00010000 - 1 8 0

    W: A. Leiter (15-9)

    L: K. Wells (9-9)

    Mets' Leiter hurls first complete game in a year

    NEW YORK (AP) -- One run was finally enough to get a win for Al Leiter and the New York Mets.

    The last-place Mets have struggled for offense in recent weeks since Cliff Floyd and Jose Reyes were sidelined with season-ending injuries. Leiter and the rest of New York's starting staff were faced with having to nearly pitch a shutout every night to earn a victory.

    Leiter did it Tuesday night as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 to snap a skid in which New York lost eight straight and 16 of 17.

    "There was not a whole lot of wiggle room," said Leiter, who pitched his first complete game in slightly more than a year.

    Tony Clark drove in the game's only run with a fourth-inning double.

    "We were able to get that one run across and it held up," Clark said. "Offensively, we haven't gotten the job done," Clark said.

    But one run was enough for the Mets, who are 33 games behind NL East champion Atlanta.

    Leiter (15-9) allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked one in winning for the fifth time in six career decisions against the Pirates. His last complete game was Sept. 11, 2002, a 5-0 victory at Atlanta. Leiter pitched two complete games last season, both shutouts.

    "Every starting pitcher tries to accomplish that every time out," said Leiter, who throw his 10th career shutout and his 16th complete game. He threw 123 pitches, 77 for strikes.

    Clark's RBI double in the fourth inning off Pirates starter Kip Wells scored Mike Piazza, who had singled.

    Wells (9-9) gave up eight hits and struck out four in 7 1-3 innings.

    "I'm satisfied with the way I pitched," Wells said. "Obviously, not good enough to win but I have to take solace in the fact that I pitched well."

    Wells left with one out in the eighth after he issued his lone walk to Clark, which loaded the bases. John Grabow came on to strike out pinch-hitter Raul Gonzalez, and Brian Meadows then relieved and induced Ty Wigginton to fly out.

    Pittsburgh cut down a potential Mets run in the seventh when Wigginton opened with a double and moved to third on Jorge Velandia's sacrifice. He was thrown out at the plate on pinch-hitter Matt Watson's grounder to second with the infield drawn in.

    Game notes

    Leiter made his 10th career start against Pittsburgh with his only loss coming August 7, 1997, at Three Rivers Stadium. ... The Pirates played in New York for the first time this season. ... Wigginton made his 152nd start for the Mets, second most ever for a Mets rookie. The record is 159 by CF Lee Mazzilli in 1976. ... Mets CF Jeff Duncan fouled a ball of his right foot in the fifth inning and left the game in the seventh when his foot swelled. Postgame X-rays were negative.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press