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New York 5, Pittsburgh 3

9/24/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- Steve Trachsel has been a consistent winner in a
season filled with losses for the New York Mets.

Trachsel won his career-high 16th game, helped by Timo Perez's
three hits and two RBI, as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates
5-3 on Wednesday night.

"I'll definitely enjoy it more this offseason, when it sinks
in," the veteran right-hander said. "I'm just glad I finished the
season strong."

Trachsel (16-10) pitched six solid innings, allowing two runs
and six hits as the Mets (65-92) won consecutive games for the
first time since completing a three-game sweep of Atlanta on Sept.
3.

"Steve can be proud of this season," manager Art Howe said.
"He's had a great one."

Trachsel, who lost to Montreal 1-0 in his previous start, struck
out four and walked two in front of 22,134 at Shea Stadium, which
appeared to be half that full.

"He didn't have that normal command, but he battled the whole
way," Howe said.

Mike Stanton pitched the ninth for his fifth save in seven
chances.

Trachsel could have a shot at a 17th win if the Mets have to
play San Francisco at Shea on Monday to make up a game postponed by
last month's blackout. The Giants might need the game to determine
home-field advantage between them and Atlanta for the playoffs.

Trachsel said he'd probably start that game.

"I'd rather see my kids, but if we play it I'll go out there
and try to win another game for us," Trachsel said.

Perez went 3-for-4 with two doubles for the Mets, who snapped an
eight-game losing streak with a 1-0 win Tuesday night and have won
just three times in their last 11 games.

"Timo came up big for us," Howe said. "He got the hit that
turned out to be the game-winner. He hit the ball good the first
two times up, and he's starting to get some timely hits."

New York got to Jeff D'Amico (9-16) right away, taking a 1-0
lead in the first on Mike Piazza's run-scoring groundout. Roger
Cedeno hit a leadoff double and went to third on Jay Bell's flyout
to center. Piazza followed with a grounder to short that scored
Cedeno.

Danny Garcia's RBI single in the second gave the Mets a 2-0
lead. Perez hit a leadoff double and two outs later, scored on
Garcia's single to left.

"I had opportunities to get out of those jams and I couldn't
get out of them," D'Amico said. "I just couldn't get the last
out."

Pittsburgh tied it with two runs in the third. Tike Redman hit a
one-out single, but was erased on Abraham Nunez's grounder to
second. Jason Kendall followed with a triple to right-center, just
out of the reach of a diving Prentice Redman, scoring Nunez. Matt
Stairs singled past Garcia at second to tie it at 2.

The Mets went up 5-2 in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to
Tony Clark and a two-run single by Perez.

D'Amico got two quick outs before giving up consecutive singles
to Cedeno and Bell and then back-to-back walks to Piazza and Clark,
forcing in the go-ahead run. Perez followed with a liner up the
middle that barely brushed D'Amico on the back and went into
center, allowing Bell and Piazza to score.

"That was a big inning for us," Howe said. "We haven't been
able to do that in a while."

D'Amico lost for the fourth time in five decisions, allowing
five runs and nine hits in five innings.

"He really wasn't very sharp, as he normally is," Pirates
manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He didn't hit his spots with his
breaking ball and his fastball wasn't as crisp."

The loss gave D'Amico an NL-leading 16 this season, one more
than Cincinnati's Danny Graves and San Diego's Brian Lawrence.

"Nine-and-16 can't be all that good," D'Amico said. "I just
don't feel good."

The Pirates scored their final run in the eighth on Jack
Wilson's two-out RBI single.

Game notes
The Mets will honor longtime broadcaster Bob Murphy before
Thursday night's game. Murphy, inducted into the Baseball Hall of
Fame in 1994, has been with the Mets since 1962. ... Kendall's RBI
triple in the third was his career-high 186th hit of the season.
... Mets OF Jeff Duncan wasn't in the lineup a day after fouling a
ball off his right foot and bruising it. He's day-to-day. ... Kevin
James of the hit television comedy "King of Queens" threw out the
ceremonial first pitch, and took batting practice with the Mets
before the game.