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Dotel Solid In Mets Win


The New York Mets are about to have an overabundance of starting pitchers. Octavio Dotel has made a strong case to keep him in the rotation.

The 23-year-old right-hander allowed four hits in eight innings and Rey Ordonez had three RBIs as the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 Friday night in the opener of a three-game series between two of baseball's hottest teams.

"You know, coming in here on the first game of a road trip, playing against a team on a winning streak, all the right things were accomplished tonight," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "He was very determined. I like it when he has the ball in his hand. I like his competitiveness, his drive and his stuff."

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Game Summary

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  • Dotel (5-1) allowed one run, struck out six and walked one as the Mets snapped Arizona's six-game winning streak. Dotel, who had never pitched more than 7 1-3 innings in 10 starts since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk, retired nine in a row before pinch-hitter Bernard Gilkey's leadoff double in the sixth.

    "His fastball was clocked at 91-93 mph, but it seemed like it was getting there a lot faster," Arizona's Luis Gonzalez said. "He's almost like Pedro Martinez, with that whip action."

    Dotel knows that there will be intense competition for a starting spot once Bobby Jones and Rick Reed return from the disabled list.

    "I had my best stuff tonight," Dotel said as he rode an exercise bicycle after the game. "All of the time, I'd throw strike one on the first pitch. I just want to be good every tim, because they gave me a chance to be here, and you guys know we have a lot of starters. I just want to take the opportunities they give to me."

    The Mets have won 12 of 16 to stay 1 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. The NL West-leading Diamondbacks lost for only the fourth time in 19 games but remained 8 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Francisco.

    Omar Daal (13-7), who had won his previous three starts, gave up single runs in the first and second innings and two runs on Ordonez's bases-loaded single in the sixth. Edgardo Alfonzo was 3-for-4 for New York with two doubles and an RBI single.

    Rickey Henderson led off the game with the first of the Mets' six doubles, a blooper that landed on the left-field line. He scored on Alfonzo's single.

    In the second, Shawon Dunston singled with two outs, moved to third on Benny Agbayani's double, then scored on Ordonez's ground out to make it 2-0.

    Robin Ventura singled with one out in the sixth, and Dunston lined a double just over Matt Williams' glove at third base. Daal intentionally walked Abgayani to load the bases, then Ordonez hit a two-run single.

    "Rey had the big hit tonight and kind of broke it open," the Mets' Mike Piazza said. "That's the way we've been playing. Everybody's been contributing."

    Brian Anderson, who lost his job in the starting rotation when Todd Stottlemyre came back from a rotator cuff injury last week, relieved Daal and gave up a run in the seventh on a balk with Alfonzo on third.

    Piazza added an RBI double in the ninth for a 6-1 lead. Williams singled in a run off Billy Taylor in the bottom half and Kelly Stinnett hit an RBI single off Armando Benitez, who got three outs for his 16th save in 21 chances. With two on and two outs, Andy Fox fouled out.

    Notes

  • The umpires wore a ragtag assortment of sweat pants and running shorts after their luggage failed to arrive frm Montreal. Third base ump Larry Darling lives in Phoenix and had enough spare shirts for the crew.
  • Womack stole his 58th base, tying him for the NL lead with the Mets' Roger Cedeno, who didn't play.
  • Ordonez made a spectacular diving catch of Luis Gonzalez's liner to shortstop in the sixth.
  • Henderson has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.
  • The Mets are 5-0 in Dotel's last five starts, even though he had no decision in three of them.
  • Dotel struck out four times.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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