Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/19)

Game 1: Friday, September 17
NY MetsPostponed
Game 1: Saturday, September 18
NY Mets8Final
in 10
Game 2: Sunday, September 19
NY Mets0Final
Game 3: Sunday, September 19
NY Mets1Final

Mets 0

(65-84, 30-44 away)

Pirates 1

(67-81, 37-36 home)

    1:35 PM ET, September 19, 2004

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 000000000 0 3 0
    PIT 00100000 - 1 2 0

    W: R. Vogelsong (6-12)

    L: A. Heilman (1-2)

    S: J. Mesa (40)

    Catcher has Pittsburgh's only hits, run

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Humberto Cota got the Pittsburgh Pirates' only two hits in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. The one that went over the left-field wall was the only one that mattered.

    Cota homered for the game's lone run, Ryan Vogelsong allowed two hits in seven innings and the Pirates beat the Mets 1-0 to stop a five-game losing streak Sunday.

    Cota, catching while Jason Kendall serves his three-game suspension, led off the third with his fifth homer against Aaron Heilman (1-2). He also singled in the fifth, helping the Pirates improve to 4-1 against the Mets.

    "Cota has done a great job for us," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He hasn't had a lot of opportunities to get in there, but he's taken advantage of the opportunities he's gotten."

    Vogelsong (6-12) allowed just two singles, both in the fourth inning, leading the Pirates to their ninth victory in 21 games. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out three.

    Vogelsong was rusty at the start after not having pitched in seven days because of Friday's postponement and scheduled open dates.

    "I felt like I hadn't been on the mound in forever," Vogelsong said. "It kind of took me a while to find my rhythm and put my mechanics together. Every inning, I felt like I was getting back into it more and more."

    Salomon Torres pitched a perfect eighth, and Jose Mesa got three outs for his 40th save -- becoming the sixth pitcher in major league history to have at least four seasons with 40 or more.

    "That's what being a big leaguer is all about," McClendon said. "It's about consistency, doing it year in and year out. He's been fortunate enough to stay around a while and the numbers bear out what he's done."

    Todd Zeile reached on an infield single with two outs in the ninth off Mesa for his 2,000th career hit. The Mets stood on the dugout steps and applauded the milestone hit, before Zeile came out for pinch-runner Gerald Williams.

    "In some ways, I'm glad it was today against Jose," Zeile said. "I've known Jose forever. He's got such a great history of accomplishments in the game and he was actually a batterymate of mine in 1987 in the Dominican, so we go back a long way."

    Zeile's grounder hit off Mesa's chest and deflected toward the left side of the infield. Zeile easily beat shortstop Jack Wilson's off-balance throw. Zeile joked that "less than one percent" of the 2,000 have been infield hits.

    "It's a bit of a relief, I guess," Zeile said. "I guess it doesn't seem like something that's unattainable because I've been playing so long. It seems like this progression is by virtue of the fact I've been plugging away for so many years, I finally caught up to it."

    New York had its best scoring chance in the fourth when David Wright and Mike Piazza opened the inning with singles off Vogelsong. One out later, Vogelsong walked a batter to load the bases, but got Wilson Delgado and Danny Garcia to fly out to get out of the inning.

    "That was our shot," Mets manager Art Howe said. "We had first and third with nobody out, then the bases loaded with one out and we didn't score. That was our opportunity."

    Vogelsong agreed.

    "That was the key to the game right there," he said. "When I've had trouble, it's usually been one inning that's gone bad."

    Vogelsong had lost five of his last seven decisions, and hadn't held an opponent scoreless in any of his 24 previous starts.

    Kendall was suspended for the weekend series for his part in a fight with the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 15. Before the weekend, he had started all but 12 games at catcher this season.

    Game notes

    The Mets had won three or four. ... Mets OF Cliff Floyd did not play. He's day to day with a strained muscle in his side. ... Torres has appeared in 77 games, most by a Pirates right-hander since Kent Tekulve pitched in 83 games in 1982.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press