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Mets Rough Up Rueter, Giants


Giants fans booed a little louder when Mike Piazza stepped to the plate, not ready to forget his days with the Dodgers.

With his bat, Piazza turned those boos to groans.

"It's definitely flattering," said Piazza, who went 4-for-5 with a home run to lead the New York Mets past the San Francisco Giants 6-1 Saturday.

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Game Summary

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  • Piazza's hitting flattened the Giants, and Orel Hershiser's 40-year-old right arm kept them down. Hershiser (12-9), who has pitched for both the Giants and Dodgers, went six strong innings to improve to 22-9 lifetime against San Francisco.

    "I love this place," Hershiser said, "and I'll be saddened when it's gone. I know the team and fans here are excited about moving to a new ballpark, but I'll miss Candlestick."

    Piazza is 10-for-14 over his last three games, with two homers and six RBIs. His two-run shot in the fourth off Kirk Rueter (10-7) erased a 1-0 deficit and sparked a decisive five-run rally.

    "I'm just taking nice, easy swings," Piazza said. "Not muscling up as much. I'm just more comfortable when I'm taking easy swings."

    Rueter probably wondered how such an easy swing could result in a batted ball landing ten rows deep into the bleachers.

    "I felt pretty good up until that inning," Rueter said. "Then I made some bad pitches. They're a good-hitting team and they didn't miss them. We were up 1-0 and suddenly it was 5-1, and that kind of knocked the wind out of our sails."

    Hershiser has won both of his starts this season against the Giants, the team he pitched for in 1998. He gave up one run and four hits, with three walks and five strikeouts.

    "The Mets play good defene. Everyone knows that," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "Orel's going to throw a lot of groundballs. Not a whole lot gets through here."

    "For a groundball pitcher, this defense in this park is just heaven," Hershiser said.

    Rickey Henderson also had four hits as the Mets roughed up Rueter and four relievers for 16 hits.

    Rueter's two-out RBI double scored Bill Mueller to put the Giants up 1-0 in the second.

    The Mets wasted leadoff singles in each of the first three innings before breaking through in the fourth after a leadoff walk to John Olerud. Piazza followed with his 25th home run for a 2-1 Mets lead.

    Back-to-back doubles by Robin Ventura and Benny Agbayani made it 3-1. Agbayani went to third on a groundout and scored on Rey Ordonez's squeeze-bunt single.

    Ordonez moved to second on Hershiser's groundout and scored on a single by Henderson to put the Mets up 5-1.

    Agbayani's second RBI double of the game gave the Mets a 6-1 lead in the fifth.

    Rueter is now 0-4 with a 6.65 ERA in 10 lifetime starts against the Mets. The Giants have lost 11 of 15 games.

    Notes

  • Hershiser is 22-9 with a 3.18 ERA lifetime against the Giants.
  • The Mets have won 17 of 23 and are now 36-22 on the road.
  • Piazza's four hits matched a career-high which he has accomplished 17 times.
  • Sunday's starting pitcher for the Giants, Livan Hernandez, is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA against the Mets this season all as a member of the Florida Marlins.
  • Piazza had seven straight hits over two games.
  • The announced paid attendance of 57,853 was the second-highest in Candlestick Park history (58,077 on Opening Day 1994 against Pittsburgh is the highest), but the numbers were inflated by a company's block purchase of 18,000 tickets for a stay-in-school promotion. Over 10,000 seats remained empty.

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

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