Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 7/31)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 30
Houston 16Final
New York 3
Game 2: Wednesday, July 31
Houston 0Final
New York 10
Game 3: Thursday, August 1
Houston 3Final
New York 1

Astros 0

(54-52, 23-30 away)

Mets 10

(55-51, 30-23 home)

    7:10 PM ET, July 31, 2002

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000000000 0 - -
    NYM 73000000 - 10 - -

    W: S. Estes (4-8)

    L: D. Mlicki (3-7)

    Burnitz sparks Mets' seven-run first inning

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets didn't add any big bats from outside the organization at the trade deadline.

    Jeromy Burnitz
    Burnitz

    The slumping Jeromy Burnitz provided his own boost instead.

    Burnitz hit a three-run homer in a seven-run first inning to help Shawn Estes snap a seven-start winless streak as the Mets beat the Houston Astros 10-0 Wednesday night.

    "We depend on him and we need him to be a big player,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said about Burnitz, who entered the game in a 2-for-35 slide that dropped his average to .203. "Today he was aggressive and forgot about the mechanical stuff and just was Jeromy.''

    Hours after bolstering their pitching staff with two deals, the Mets broke through for their biggest first inning since also scoring seven on June 8, 1995, against San Francisco.

    Mo Vaughn and Rey Ordonez had RBI doubles, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a run-scoring single and Roberto Alomar's RBI triple with two outs capped the outburst and ended the shortest start of Dave Mlicki's career.

    Every Mets position player either scored or drove in a run in the inning, which came one night after a 16-3 loss to Houston.

    "We were on such a high yesterday,'' Mlicki said. "To come out here and do what I did was horrible.''

    It was the biggest opening inning against the Astros since they gave up 14 runs in an 18-2 loss at Cincinnati, on Aug. 3, 1989.

    Ordonez added a three-run double in the second inning, matching his career high with four RBI.

    That was more than enough for Estes (4-8), who hadn't won since beating Roger Clemens and the Yankees on June 15. Estes' struggles contributed to the Mets' deadline deals, but he has pitched well of late with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts.

    "I've been waiting for a nice roll all year,'' Estes said. "I'm in that right now. It couldn't come at a better time. We need good starting pitching right now that the hitting is coming together.''

    The Mets acquired starter John Thomson from Colorado and reliever Steve Reed from San Diego earlier Wednesday as they tried to upgrade their pitching staff for a possible playoff run.

    New York, which has won 11 of 16, remained 4½ games behind wild card leader Los Angeles. The Mets will need more big games from Burnitz to make up that deficit over the final two months.

    "Hopefully this is a stepping stone and I will continue to have good at-bats,'' Burnitz said. "This team needs me to get to where we want to go.''

    The Astros had won five straight, outscoring the opposition 35-6 in the span. But Houston had no chance in this one and fell 5½ games behind the Dodgers.

    After Mlicki struck out Alomar to open the game, Timo Perez followed with a drive to right that Richard Hidalgo misplayed into a triple.

    After Mike Piazza walked, the next five Mets got hits. The big blow coming from Burnitz.

    With two on, Burnitz hit a drive to center field. Barry Wesson initially broke in on the ball, but it carried over the fence for Burnitz's fourth homer since May 3.

    "Jeromy is a good player who hasn't played well,'' Valentine said. "He has two months to redeem himself this season. I think he can do it.''

    Mlicki (3-7) gave up seven hits and seven runs, retiring only two batters. The last time an Astro starter failed to make it out of the first -- except for injuries and ejections -- was on April 14, 1994, when Pete Harnisch retired only two batters at Florida.

    "It was just horrible -- probably the worst start of my career,'' Mlicki said. "One guy after another kept hitting bad pitches.''

    Estes was efficient with the big lead, forcing the Astros to put the ball in play. He allowed a pair of doubles in seven scoreless innings.

    He also got help from his defense when Alomar made a spectacular diving stop at second base to throw out Jose Vizcaino to end the second inning.

    The only excitement after the early scoring came when Houston reliever Jim Mann was ejected by plate umpire Larry Poncino for hitting Ordonez with a pitch in the fifth inning.

    "We weren't throwing at anybody,'' manager Jimy Williams said. "We were down 10-0 and didn't want to put another guy on base.''

    Game notes


    Mlicki's previous shortest start was 1 1/3 innings on June 11, 2000, at St. Louis. ... The Mets traded OF Jay Payton, RHP Mark Corey and minor leaguer Robert Stratton to Colorado for Thomson and OF Mark Little. They sent LHP Bobby M. Jones and two minor leaguers to the Padres for Reed and RHP Jason Middlebrook. ... LHP Mike Bacsik finished the two-hitter and was sent back to Triple-A Norfolk after the game. RHP Satoru Komiyama and INF Marco Scutaro were also optioned to Norfolk.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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