<
>

Piazza also homers for Mets

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Mets traded for Richard Hidalgo because they
wanted more punch in the middle of the lineup.

That's exactly what he gave them.

Hidalgo homered for his first hit with his new team, Mike Piazza
also connected and New York beat the Detroit Tigers 6-1 Sunday to
complete a three-game sweep.

"It was a great feeling," Hidalgo said. "I'm so happy to be
here."

Steve Trachsel pitched six solid innings for the Mets, who got a
two-run double from Eric Valent in their fourth consecutive
victory. They moved back to .500 for the first time in two weeks by
winning for the sixth time in seven games.

Acquired from Houston on Thursday for pitchers David Weathers
and Jeremy Griffiths, Hidalgo went 2-for-4 and scored twice. He hit
a two-run shot off Jeremy Bonderman (5-6) in the fourth, his first
home run since April 14 with the Astros, against St. Louis.

"This guy's got pop. We thought it was kind of a coup, to be
honest with you, to be able to get him over here at this point,"
Mets manager Art Howe said. "Another threat. You just can't pitch
around people now. You make a mistake to Richard, you're going to
pay."

Trachsel (7-5) allowed one run and four hits, improving to 6-2
with a 1.75 ERA in 10 starts at home. He walked a season-high five,
one intentional.

Mike Stanton threw two scoreless innings and Ricky Bottalico
finished the five-hitter, delighting a Father's Day crowd of 39,446
on a beautiful afternoon.

"We came in here on a high, we leave here down. Our job now is
to regroup," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "We really got
shut down today. You have to give the Mets' pitching credit."

Jose Reyes went 0-for-3 in his second game of the season since
straining his right hamstring in spring training. But he walked and
scored on Hidalgo's homer.

"Having Reyes back is just a tremendous lift for us," Cliff
Floyd said.

Piazza was rested Saturday night, so Sunday marked the first
time all season the Mets played with their entire lineup.

Reyes drew a leadoff walk in the fourth before Bonderman struck
out Piazza and Floyd. But Hidalgo drove an 0-1 pitch into the
Detroit bullpen for New York's first hit of the game and his first
hit in nine at-bats with the Mets.

"The last two games I was feeling like I was in the middle of
nowhere. I was feeling kind of lost," Hidalgo said. "But I feel
relaxed right now."

Bonderman unraveled from there. He walked Mike Cameron and gave
up a crisp single to Ty Wigginton before Valent lined a two-run
double to left-center, making it 4-0.

"That fourth inning just killed me," Bonderman said. "I
didn't give up a hard-hit ball until that pitch."

The Tigers got a run back in the fifth when Ivan Rodriguez
singled with two outs, went to third on Carlos Guillen's double and
scored on a wild pitch by Trachsel.

Hidalgo reached on an infield single in the sixth and scored
from first on Wigginton's bloop double with two outs.

Piazza homered to center off Al Levine leading off the eighth,
his 15th of the year and major league-record 356th as a catcher.

"We're getting good pitching and timely hitting. There's no
secret formula to it," Piazza said.

Trachsel got out of a third-inning jam when he struck out Craig
Monroe on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded.

"I was able to be a little bit more aggressive with my fastball
after that. It was the one pitch I knew I could throw for a
strike," Trachsel said. "It was a struggle from the start, just
grinded it out."

Bonderman gave up four runs and three hits in five innings,
striking out seven.

Tigers second baseman Omar Infante, who committed a key error
Saturday night, made a remarkable play in the third, tumbling on
the outfield grass to field Valent's grounder and throwing him out
from the seat of his pants.

Game notes
Guillen batted cleanup for the first time this season and
went 2-for-4. ... Tigers OF Rondell White got the day off. ...
Detroit optioned reliever Steve Colyer to Triple-A Toledo and
recalled RHP Franklyn German, who pitched a scoreless inning. The
Tigers also agreed to terms on a contract with third-round draft
pick Jeff Frazier, an outfielder out of Rutgers. ... Mets SS Kaz
Matsui went 0-for-4 and made his 15th error, drawing some boos from
the crowd. ... Reyes is 1-for-8 with a walk and two runs scored in
two games.