NEW YORK (AP) -- Steve Trachsel kept fidgeting, repeatedly
cleaning the dirt out of his cleats and slowing down an already
But he never lost his footing Tuesday night, shutting down the
Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 for the New York Mets' fourth straight
victory."I was having a lot of trouble with the mound," Trachsel said.
"It was wet and sticky, and it was sticking in my cleats like
never before."The result couldn't have been any better, though.Trachsel (5-3) allowed four hits in 6 2-3 innings, picking up
right where Tom Glavine left off. Glavine pitched a one-hit shutout
against Colorado on Sunday."Sometimes you got to tip your cap to the other guy," Phillies
starter Eric Milton said. "He did a great job tonight, keeping us
off balance and we never got going."Mike Piazza homered off Milton and drove in two runs, and Cliff
Floyd added a two-run double for New York, which has won nine of
12. The Mets (23-22) began a stretch of 12 games against NL East
rivals Philadelphia and Florida by moving above .500 for the first
time since April 15, when they were 5-4.Trachsel left after third baseman Ty Wigginton's error loaded
the bases. Mike Stanton relieved and struck out Jimmy Rollins on a
3-2 pitch, getting a roar out of the Shea Stadium crowd of 29,385."The key is for your starters to go out and put some zeros up
on the board and give us a chance to get a big hit," Mets manager
Art Howe said. "And then Stanton coming in with that strikeout,
that was the play of the game."Trachsel improved to 3-0 with a 1.36 ERA in May. In his last
start, he pitched seven scoreless innings in New York's 1-0 loss to
St. Louis. He struck out six and walked four."While I don't think Trachsel felt good, he went out and set
the standard for us," Stanton said.Stanton didn't allow a hit in 1 1-3 innings, and John Franco
pitched the ninth to finish the four-hitter, New York's fourth
shutout of the season.The last time the Mets pitched consecutive shutouts was May
14-15, 2002, at Los Angeles.Milton (5-1) had one of his best outings of the year, but didn't
get his usual support of 6.5 runs per game over his first eight
starts. He struck out a season-high seven, four in a row in the
second and third, and limited the Mets to three runs and six hits
in six innings.But three of those hits came in succession in the third after he
walked Danny Garcia with two outs. Piazza and Shane Spencer each
hit an RBI single to put the Mets up 2-0."He looked fine," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said of Milton.
"He gave up three runs, but you're not going to win too many games
when you score zero."Piazza led off the sixth with his 10th homer, and Floyd doubled
in two runs in the seventh against Rheal Cormier."He's a big man with a big bat and with a lot of plate
coverage," Milton said of Piazza. "You make a mistake over the
plate like I did tonight, that's what he's going to do with it."
Mets reliever Grant Roberts had arthroscopic surgery on his
right shoulder. The operation was performed by St. Louis Cardinals
doctor George Paletta. ... Phillies first baseman Jim Thome
returned to the lineup after missing five games with an injured
finger. He went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two strikeouts.
... Bobby Abreu's 12-game hitting streak ended. He went 0-for-4.
... Elizardo Ramirez made his major league debut for Philadelphia
in the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.