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Mets give up six in first, can't struggle back

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Noah Lowry has pitched so well that Felipe Alou now counts on the rookie to win every time out -- a standard the San Francisco skipper held only for ace Jason Schmidt in the
past.

Lowry had a career-high 10 strikeouts, including seven through
the first three innings, and the Giants beat the Mets 7-3 Friday
night to snap a seven-game losing streak against New York.

"Wow, every time the kid goes to the mound I feel like we're
winning the game for sure," Alou said. "He might have the best
changeup in the league."

Pedro Feliz homered twice, Edgardo Alfonzo also connected and
Barry Bonds went 3-for-4 with a double to help the Giants maintain
a half-game lead in the NL wild-card race.

Feliz hit a home run into the bleachers in left field to start
the second inning, then another solo shot in the fifth to give him
17 homers this season. His previous career high was 16, set last
season.

It was his third multihomer game this year and the fourth of his
career.

Feliz was in the lineup after Giants first baseman J.T. Snow was
held out with an inflamed bug bite on his left elbow.

Alou vowed to give Feliz 400 at-bats this season, and the
utilityman already has 396.

"The more opportunities the better I get," Feliz said. "You
just have to prove every day what you've got."

Alfonzo hit a two-run homer in the first, sending a 1-1 pitch
from Steve Trachsel (10-10) over the wall in left-center for his
eighth of the year.

Lowry (3-0) was impressive again in only his seventh major
league start, winning his third straight decision. He hasn't lost
in four starts since being recalled Aug. 3 from Triple-A Fresno --
and the Giants have won all of those outings.

The 23-year-old lefty, who had struck out nine twice this
season, allowed three runs on six hits and didn't walk a batter in
6 2-3 innings.

After Richard Hidalgo's two-out double in the first, Lowry
retired 15 of his next 16 hitters -- allowing only Vance Wilson to
reach on Alfonzo's error in the third before Cliff Floyd hit a
two-out double in the sixth.

"Swings and misses are nice, but sometimes you look to get a
groundball and a quick out," Lowry said. "In certain situations
with runners on, you want them to hit the ball. ... It's nice to
come up and help out. I'm just throwing strikes and staying ahead
in the count, and you have to give (catcher A.J. Pierzynski) a lot
of credit. He keeps these hitters off balance every time I'm out
there."

Lowry ran into some trouble in the seventh.

Pinch-hitter Gerald Williams hit a two-run shot for the Mets,
his fourth career pinch-hit homer and first since April 14, 1999,
with Atlanta against Philadelphia.

David Wright doubled with one out in the seventh, then scored on
Wilson Delgado's RBI groundout two batters later. Williams followed
with his second homer of the year and first since June 9.

Jim Brower struck out four in 1 1-3 innings of relief for the
Giants, and Dustin Hermanson finished.

Ray Durham's leadoff single in the first snapped an 0-for-27
slump by San Francisco's second baseman that spanned seven games.
He added an RBI double in the second, tripled in the eighth and
scored twice.

"I kept swinging, that's all I really did," Durham said. "I
didn't hang my head. The only way to get out of it is to keep
swinging, and eventually they're going to fall."

The Giants were swept by the Mets at Shea Stadium from May 4-6
and hadn't beaten New York since a 7-5 win last May 16 in San
Francisco.

The Giants scored two unearned runs in the second after Durham's
hit. Alfonzo reached on second baseman Danny Garcia's error. Bonds
followed with a single to center that Mike Cameron misplayed,
scoring Alfonzo.

Alfonzo had an error of his own the next inning against his
former team.

Trachsel, who's been bothered by a sore shoulder, lost his
second straight start. He gave up four earned runs on 10 hits,
struck out three and didn't walk a batter in four innings.

"He got off to a slow start and the next thing you know it's
6-0," Mets manager Art Howe said. "The way Lowry was throwing the
ball was pretty impressive."

The Mets appeared sluggish a day after sweeping a doubleheader
at Colorado. The Giants had a doubleheader Wednesday against
Montreal but got Thursday off to recover.

Cameron struck out three times and finished 0-for-4 a day after
getting four RBI in the opener against the Rockies.

Game notes
Lowry and Garcia were college teammates and roommates as
juniors at Pepperdine in 2001. Lowry got him to flyout in the
first, strike out in the third and ground out in the sixth. ...
Trachsel is 8-4 in 18 career appearances against the Giants. ...
Snow is riding a career-high 13-game hitting streak -- the longest
on the team this year -- and is batting .500 (24-for-48) with five
home runs, 14 RBI and 16 runs during the stretch. The Giants
didn't know if he would play Saturday.