<
>

Wells homers twice as Jays halt Mets' road run

TORONTO (AP) -- Vernon Wells' latest power surge has brought out
the "MVP!" chants from Toronto Blue Jays fans.

Wells homered twice and the Blue Jays ended the New York Mets'
franchise record nine-game road winning streak with a 7-4 victory
Saturday.

Wells hit a three-run homer in the second off Orlando Hernandez
(4-7) and a solo shot off Heath Bell in the seventh for his fifth
multihomer game of the season.

Toronto's center fielder went 2-for-4, raising his average to
.321. He has 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 71 games -- the fifth
consecutive season he's hit at least 20.

Fans chanted "MVP! MVP!" after his second homer, which gave
Toronto a 7-3 lead.

"They are cool," Wells said of the chants. "I appreciate what
the fans are saying, but lets worry about winning this division
first."

Wells just tries to hit the ball in the air.

"I don't feel like I'm a home run hitter," Wells said. "You
are just thankful for everyone you get."

Staked to a 6-0 lead in the second, Toronto ace Roy Halladay
(9-2) allowed four runs and 10 hits, while striking out four and
walking none in 7 1-3 innings.

The 2003 AL Cy Young award winner has won eight of his last nine
decisions.

"Going out and scoring six runs early is huge," Halladay said.

The Mets loaded the bases in the eighth, but reliever Justin
Speier got Jose Valentin to pop out and Xavier Nady to strike out
swinging to end the threat. B.J. Ryan pitched the ninth for his
21st save in 22 chances.

Jose Reyes tripled and went 4-for-5 for the Mets, who fell to
24-13 on the road. He has a 12-game hitting streak and is 28-for-52
(.538).

"I feel so good. I'm seeing the ball so good. Hopefully, I'm
going to keep it that way," Reyes said.

Hernandez (4-7) was forced to leave his start early in the
second inning after the Mets were charged with two trips to the
mound.

Pitching coach Rick Peterson went out to the mound in the inning
and manager Willie Randolph made a trip after Hernandez almost
ignited a bench clearing brawl by throwing a pitch high and tight
to Troy Glaus -- after Wells hit his three-run homer a pitch before.

Earlier in the inning, Hernandez plunked Lyle Overbay and Aaron
Hill.

Glaus took a step toward the mound and his teammates were on the
top step of the dugout as Hernandez waved his finger as if to say
he didn't do it on purpose.

Randolph went out to the mound to calm Hernandez. After the
umpires huddled, Hernandez was forced to leave.

"I wanted to stay in the game really bad," Hernandez said.

Randolph said the umpires should have used discretion on the
play.

"I was just trying to keep him from getting into a
confrontation," Randolph said. "I know him real well. He's very
volatile, very emotional and I was trying to get him away from the
situation. He has a very hot temper. They all agreed with what I
did but they stuck by the rule. What are you going to do. I was
more concerned with making sure there wasn't a brawl."

Eric Hinske hit an RBI double, Frank Catalanotto hit an two-run
single and Wells homered in the six-run inning.

Hernandez allowed six runs and four hits in just 1 2-3 innings.

After David Wright hit an RBI triple past a diving Wells in
center field in the fourth, Valentin hit an RBI grounder.

Ramon Castro hit a run-scoring rounder in the fifth and Carlos
Delgado added an RBI single off Scott Schoeneweis in the eighth to
cut it to 7-4.

Game notes
Mets setup man Duaner Sanchez has a pinched nerve in his
neck and is day-to-day, the team announced Saturday. Sanchez, a key
part of New York's stellar bullpen, left after throwing just two
pitches in the eighth inning of Friday's 6-1 victory over Toronto.
The right-hander returned to New York on Saturday so he could be
evaluated by team doctors. An MRI on his right shoulder was
negative. He's expected to return to Toronto on Sunday. ... Mets C
Paul Lo Duca left the game in the third because of a bruised left
thumb. After Lo Duca grounded out to end the top of the third,
Castro replaced him to start the bottom half. The injury has been
nagging Lo Duca. He's listed as day-to-day. ... After striking out
in the eighth, Toronto's Alex Rios broke the bat over his leg.