Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

New York leads 1-0 (as of 6/7)

Game 1: Friday, June 7
New York 4Final
Cleveland 3
Game 2: Saturday, June 8
New York 8Final
Cleveland 6
Game 3: Sunday, June 9
New York 3Final
Cleveland 8

Mets 4

(30-30, 16-17 away)

Indians 3

(29-31, 17-13 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 7, 2002

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 120000100 4 - -
    CLE 010002000 3 - -

    W: A. Leiter (6-5)

    L: D. Baez (5-5)

    S: A. Benitez (12)

    Leiter pitches Mets to streak-snapping win

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Roberto Alomar's first game back at Jacobs Field was rather uneventful -- no controversies or criticism. The only thing slightly unusual was that the New York Mets won.

    Robbie Alomar

    AP

    Roberto Alomar, center, jokes with Indians bullpen coach Louis Issacs, left, and catcher Einar Diaz in his return to Cleveland.

    ''It's a relief,'' Alomar said after the Mets snapped a five-game losing streak Friday night with a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians. ''Nothing has been going our way, and we pulled it out. It's a huge win for us.''

    Al Leiter, facing Cleveland for the first time since the 1997 World Series, pitched into the eighth and Edgardo Alfonzo drove in two runs for the Mets, who came in stinging after being swept in three straight by the Atlanta Braves.

    ''It's a great feeling,'' said Alfonzo, who snapped a 3-3 tie with an RBI single in the seventh. ''It's great to shake hands again.''

    Alomar went 1-for-4 in his first appearance in Cleveland since being dealt to New York on Dec. 11 in a blockbuster, eight-player trade. The All-Star second baseman grounded out, doubled, struck out and hit into an inning-ending double play.

    As Alomar took his spot at second base in the bottom of the first, the Indians showed a 60-second video package of his highlights during his three seasons in Cleveland.

    ''I didn't see it,'' Alomar said. ''I didn't know what was going on. But the fans were great. They always have been to me here.''

    Leiter (6-5) snapped a personal three-game slide and Alfonzo homered off Danys Baez (5-5) as the Mets won their first meeting with the Indians.

    Jim Thome hit his 19th homer for Cleveland.

    Leiter hadn't pitched against the Indians since Game 7 of the '97 Series when he was with the Florida Marlins, and the left-hander showed them a few of his old tricks for 7 1-3 innings.

    ''I've been struggling,'' Leiter said. ''I wasn't really thinking about the Series or anything else.''

    Relying on a nasty cutter, Leiter gave up two earned runs and five hits for his first win since May 17.

    ''I've faced him before and he usually shoves it to me,'' said Indians center fielder Milton Bradley. ''He threw a great cutter. You know it's coming, but you can't hit it.''

    Leiter left after walking Thome in the eighth, and New York manager Bobby Valentine needed three relievers to get to the ninth.

    With two runners on, Armando Benitez retired Bradley on a flyball to the warning track in center to end the eighth, then finished for his 12th save.

    ''I thought I had it,'' Bradley said. ''It just fell short.''

    Alomar got a polite ovation before his first at-bat from Indians fans, who were awed by the perennial Gold Glove winner on an almost daily basis during his three seasons in Cleveland.

    Unlike spring training when he accused the Indians' front office of lying to him, Alomar didn't have anything negative to say about Cleveland.

    ''It's great to be back,'' he said. ''I still have my home here and I haven't seen my family since February.''

    Alfonzo helped make sure Alomar's comeback was a success by snapping a 3-all tie in the seventh with an RBI single off Baez, who allowed three earned runs and six hits in a career-high 7 1-3 innings.

    Baez opened the seventh by hitting No. 9 hitter Vance Wilson, and Timo Perez sacrificed. Alfonzo followed with his go-ahead single to center.

    ''That RBI was heaven sent,'' Valentine said. ''That's the Edgardo we need.''

    Thome's eighth homer in 26 at-bats tied it at 3 in the sixth.

    Ellis Burks opened the inning with a single, and Thome followed with a shot to right field for just his third homer off a left-hander this season.

    Alfonzo stole some of Alomar's thunder in giving the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first.

    Alomar was in the on-deck circle when Alfonzo connected on a 1-2 pitch from Baez, driving it over the wall in left for his second homer this season.

    Some Mets fans were still cheering Alfonzo's shot when Alomar stepped into the batter's box for his first appearance in Cleveland since being traded.

    The Mets added two runs in the second, helped by right fielder Chris Magruder's error.

    New York loaded the bases on a fielder's choice, walk and infield single when Wilson hit a blooper to right that Magruder dropped near the line.

    Perez followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0.

    Game notes


    Mets OF Roger Cedeno was hit on the left knee trying to bunt in the ninth but stayed in the game. He was thrown out at home trying to score on Perez's single to end the inning. ... It was Leiter's first outing at the Jake since starting Game 3 of the '97 Series. ... Thome has homered in six of his last eight games, and he's batting .485 (16-for-33) during a 10-game hitting streak. ... The Mets signed RHP Robert Paulk, their 24th pick in Tuesday's draft. Paulk has been assigned to Class-A Kingsport of the Appalachian League.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES