Floyd homers, drives in three for N.Y.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Cliff Floyd feels more of a burden to carry the
New York Mets' offense these days because of injuries that have
sidelined three regulars.

He delivered against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Floyd homered and drove in three runs and the New York Mets beat
Arizona 4-3 on Saturday night, extending the Diamondbacks' losing
streak to nine games.

"We all understand our jobs," Floyd said. "That's why it's a
25-man roster. We've got to pick up the slack for each other."

With the Mets missing Mike Piazza and Jose Reyes on the disabled
list and Kaz Matsui perhaps headed there, too, Floyd becomes more
vital to their attack. He had been struggling lately, and he knew

"I've been thinking about it every night," he said. "I'm
working as hard as I can, putting out my best effort, but lately,
I've been getting nothing. I can't get down on myself."

The Diamondbacks provided a cure.

Floyd, 2-for-4, entered with a .368 career batting average
against Arizona, the third-highest lifetime average for anyone with
100 at-bats against the Diamondbacks. He added to that production
against Edgar Gonzalez (0-6).

"I had been hitting a lot on the ground," he said. "Tonight,
I released my top hand and let my bottom hand do more for me. There
was a little sink to his pitches. I stayed with it."

Al Leiter (9-4) worked into the seventh inning to earn the
victory, the Mets' third in a row and fourth in five games. Braden
Looper pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances.

The Mets nicked Gonzalez for a run in the first when Eric Valent
led off with a double. Joe McEwing sacrificed and with Arizona's
infield playing in, Floyd lined a single off the glove of second
baseman Scott Hairston.

Arizona came right back in the second inning. Shea Hillenbrand
led off with a single against Leiter, who came in leading the
majors with a 2.52 ERA. Scott Hairston followed with his ninth
homer, and second in as many nights. He had three hits, continuing
his recovery from a 5-for-34 slump.

"I'm seeing the ball better," Hairston said. "It's all about
rhythm and timing for me. Trying to get out of a slump facing
somebody like Al Leiter, it's hard."

The homer gave the Diamondbacks a lead in a game for the first
time in a week, but it didn't last long.

In the third, McEwing reached on an error by third baseman Andy
Green and Floyd followed with his 16th homer over the left-field
wall, putting the Mets back on top. It was the 10th time this
season Floyd gave the Mets a lead with a homer.

"I've been trying so hard to hit the ball in the left-center
gap," Floyd said. "I was more relaxed and got results. It's part
of the game."

Arizona loaded the bases in the sixth on two walks and an
infield hit by Hairston. But Leiter escaped by getting Tim Olson on
a roller for the third out.

The Mets immediately added to their lead when David Wright was
hit by a pitch leading off the sixth and scored on a triple by
Vance Wilson.

Arizona knocked Leiter out in the seventh on hits by
pinch-hitter Quinton McCracken and Alex Cintron and Danny
Bautista's two-out RBI single, cutting New York's lead to 4-3.
Ricky Bottalico relieved and retired Hillenbrand on one pitch,
ending the rally.

"We just fell short trying to get that one hit," Arizona
manager Al Pedrique said.

Game notes
Before Hairston's second-inning homer, the Diamondbacks had
not led in a game since last Saturday when McCracken led off with a
home run against Atlanta. ... The loss left Arizona with a 1-18
record and 15 straight losses on Saturdays. ... Gonzalez had two
singles for the Diamondbacks, his first hits this season and the
first two-hit game for an Arizona pitcher since Brandon Webb had
two hits on April 7 against Colorado. ... The game was played in a
steady drizzle.