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Mets Sweep Twinbill From 'Spos

After the first two innings of a sloppy day, the New York Mets sure weren't thinking sweep.

Grant Roberts couldn't make it out of the second inning of his major league debut, the Mets trailed by five runs and they had already lost two players to injuries.

"We were down and thinking that this would be a long day and what a bad way this was to start it," Benny Agbayani said. "But you have to play nine innings to see what is going to happen."

Agbayani went 4-for-5 with three RBIs Thursday in the opener and Mike Hampton pitched a seven-hitter in the second game as the Mets swept the Montreal Expos 9-8, 4-3.

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Game 1 Summary

Game 2 Summary

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  • "That was a good day's work," manager Bobby Valentine said. "A lot of guys grinded it out."

    While Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo went hitless on the day, the Mets got their offense from some unexpected sources.

    Jay Payton drove in three runs he scored on his own two-run double in the second game and Matt Franco drove in two runs, including a tiebreaking hit in the eighth inning of the opener.

    "We need the entire team to contribute," Valentine said. "We rely heavily on Mike and Fonzie. So it was good to wn without offensive contributions from them."

    Alfonzo did make a big defensive play in the ninth inning of the second game, diving to his left to rob Michael Barrett of a hit with a man on first and no outs.

    "That was a big saver there," Expos manager Felipe Alou said. "You don't know what would have happened after that."

    That was one of the few defensive highlights. The rain that postponed Wednesday's game made it a sloppy day. There were puddles on the outfield warning track and fielders slipped.

    There were nine errors - including three by New York third baseman Lenny Harris in the second game. The Mets lost Derek Bell and Melvin Mora to injuries, and the Expos couldn't hold leads in either game.

    Two errors put the Mets 2-0 in the second inning of the second game. With runners on first and third and one out, Lenny Webster hit a grounder that hit off Harris' glove and Fernando Seguignol scored.

    Hideki Irabu, making his first appearance in New York since being traded by the Yankees to Montreal last winter, then hit an easy grounder to second base. Alfonzo flipped to shortstop Kurt Abbott, who dropped the ball allowing Barrett to score.

    The Mets answered in their half when Todd Zeile and Agbayani opened the inning with singles. Payton hit a drive off the wall in left-center. Mike Mordecai's relay throw home hit a sliding Agbayani and bounced toward the Mets' dugout allowing Payton to score on the error.

    Harris, whose miscues in the first and sixth innings did not lead to runs, hit a solo homer in the fifth for New York. Seguignol hit a solo shot in the sixth for Montreal.

    Hampton (10-7), who has won eight of his last 11 decisions, lost his first two starts after the All-Star break to Boston and Montreal. He allowed only two earned runs and walked one in his third complete game of the year, sparing a tired bullpen.

    "That was definitely on my mind," he said. "I wanted to make sure I got deep enough into the game to give them a break."

    Irabu (2-5) allowed four runs three earned and five hits in six innings in his first start since arthroscopic knee surgery May 28.

    "Hlooked healthy," Alou said. "He pitched good enough to win."

    In the opener, the Mets tied it at 7 in the seventh on Franco's first RBI single, before Peter Bergeron put Montreal back on top with an RBI single in the eighth.

    But New York rallied again.

    Scott Strickland (2-1). After a walk to Alfonzo, Zeile tied the game with a single and Franco gave the Mets the lead with a line drive to center off left-hander Steve Kline.

    Bell left both games early with injuries. He was hit in the chin by a batted ball in the first inning of the opener and received three stitches. He left the second game in the fifth with light headedness.

    Roberts was in uniform more than three hours before the game. The Mets top pitching prospect spent much of that time pacing and going over hitters with catcher Todd Pratt.

    His stay on the mound, however, was much shorter. Roberts allowed seven runs six earned and six hits in 1 1-3 innings. Jose Vidro's three-run double in the first was the big blow.

    Agbayani had a two-run double in the first and an RBI double in the fourth to help the Mets rally.

    John Franco (5-3) got two outs for the win in the opener and Armando Benitez earned his 23rd save.


  • Mora left with a split finger nail on his right index finger and is day-to-day.
  • Roberts was 5-5 with a 4.35 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk. He was sent back to the minors after the game and Abbott was activated.
  • Irabu beat the Mets 6-3 at Shea Stadium last July 11 for the Yankees.

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