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Torrealba's single breaks tie in eighth inning

5/17/2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Just about everything went wrong for the
New York Mets.

Star catcher Mike Piazza was lost to a groin injury, and the
Mets watched former teammate Edgardo Alfonzo hit a homer and drive
in four runs to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 7-5 victory
Friday night.

Piazza left in the first inning with a strained right groin
after trying to avoid an inside pitch from Jason Schmidt. X-rays
were inconclusive, but Piazza was placed on the 15-day disabled
list.

"Hopefully it's not as bad as we think," said catcher Vance
Wilson, who replaced Piazza. "He's our team leader and our big
bat. As bad as we feel for Mike, we've got to play tomorrow and we
need guys to step up. We can still get it done."

Yorvit Torrealba hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth
inning for San Francisco. Rich Aurilia singled and Barry Bonds
doubled ahead of Torrealba, who entered when catcher Benito
Santiago was ejected one inning earlier for arguing balls and
strikes.

Torrealba grounded a single up the middle off Armando Benitez
through a drawn-in infield.

"I don't know how I did it," Torrealba said. "Benitez is one
of the best closers in the game. I was just trying to hit the ball
up the middle and it worked."

Raul Gonzalez and Wilson homered for the Mets, who lost their
fourth straight and fell to 0-12 in the regular season at Pacific
Bell Park.

The Giants won their second straight after losing a season-high
five in a row.

Joe Nathan (5-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Tim
Worrell got three outs for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

David Weathers (1-3) allowed three of the four batters he faced
to reach base.

"It's all deflating," Weathers said. "You go out there and
lose consistently like we have, and I've been the cause of it as
much as anybody. It's frustrating. It's just a combination of
everything."

Schmidt matched his career high with 13 strikeouts but left
after giving up five runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"With the lead, my philosophy is to go right after guys," he
said. "They got a couple of hits and it was ugly on my part at the
end."

Mets starter Pedro Astacio went 4 2/3 innings, allowing five
runs on 10 hits.

Marquis Grissom had three hits for the Giants and has reached
base eight consecutive times.

Things didn't start well for the Mets.

Piazza, batting .522 (12-for-23) with four home runs and nine
RBIs in his previous six games, jumped out of the way of a 2-2
pitch, then fell to the ground. He needed help walking off the
field.

Two innings later, Mets outfielder Roger Cedeno came out of the
game because of dizziness.

Piazza, who was examined by Giants doctor Ken Akuzuki, reported
feeling a pop in his groin and a lot of pain initially. He dressed
and left the ballpark with assistance.

"It's just another setback physically,'' Mets manager Art Howe
said. "I thought it couldn't get worse, but it could."

Jason Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to replace
Piazza.

Cliff Floyd singled to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first.
Alfonzo hit his fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot into
the left-field bleachers, to put the Giants on top 2-1. He signed a
$26 million, four-year contract with San Francisco during the
offseason after spending eight years with the Mets.

Wilson, who replaced Piazza, hit his fourth homer, a solo shot
with one out in the third, to tie it at 2.

Santiago singled in the third to put the Giants up 3-2. Alfonzo
added a two-run double in the fifth.

Gonzalez hit his second home run of the year to lead off the
seventh. Roberto Alomar later added an RBI double and Wilson tied
the game at 5 with an RBI single.

The Giants had two runners thrown out at the plate.

Game notes
The Mets already had seven players on the DL, including OF
Jeromy Burnitz, 1B Mo Vaughn, SS Rey Sanchez and RHP David Cone.
Burnitz took batting practice for the first time since his injury
and could go on a rehabilitation assignment in the next few days.
Cone threw five innings in his second rehab start with Class-A St.
Lucie. ... Phillips was batting .360 with four home runs and 20
RBIs with the Tides. ... Giants 1B J.T. Snow hit his third triple
of the year in the fourth, establishing a career high. He has 16
career triples. ... Schmidt had his 10th game of 10 or more
strikeouts.

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