Series: Game 3 of 3

New York won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, August 23
New York 4Final
Colorado 10
Game 2: Saturday, August 24
New York 5Final
Colorado 2
Game 3: Sunday, August 25
New York 7Final
Colorado 4

Mets 7

(60-69, 30-35 away)

Rockies 4

(61-69, 39-25 home)

    3:05 PM ET, August 25, 2002

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 000310030 7 - -
    COL 000200002 4 - -

    W: A. Leiter (11-10)

    L: D. Neagle (7-8)

    S: A. Benitez (29)

    Gonzalez belts first two big-league homers

    DENVER (AP) -- After 11 years of waiting, Raul Gonzalez is finally getting an opportunity in the majors.

    Gonzalez hit his first two career homers and drove in four runs to lead Al Leiter and the New York Mets past the Colorado Rockies 7-4 Sunday.

    "There were times I never thought I would get a chance to play in the major leagues, let alone hit home runs,'' Gonzalez said.

    Acquired from Cincinnati on Aug. 15 in a trade for left-hander Shawn Estes, Gonzalez went 2-for-4 in his ninth career start -- four with the Mets.

    The 28-year-old outfielder has played in 1,238 minor league games. He appeared in 10 games for the Reds this season before being sent down to Triple-A Louisville on July 22.

    "The Reds were so loaded in the outfield that they gave me little hope playing with them or that I would be called up in September,'' he said.

    The Mets are glad to have him.

    "Our reports had Gonzalez being a good hitter and a good player, and he's lived up to them,'' manager Bobby Valentine said. "He's one of those overlooked guys, but he's been a hero for us.''

    Edgardo Alfonzo also homered and had three RBI for the Mets, who have won two in a row following a 12-game losing skid.

    The teams traded beanballs in the ninth inning, leading to the ejection of Rockies reliever Kent Mercker, Mets pitcher David Weathers and both managers.

    Alfonzo, who came off the disabled list Saturday, was 2-for-3 with a single and his 11th home run as the Mets handed Denny Neagle (7-8) his first loss in six starts.

    Leiter (11-10) limited the Rockies to two runs and five hits through seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

    "Leiter has had the better of us and has given us fits over the long haul,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "He pitched another good ballgame against us today and in our ballpark.''

    After Weathers was ejected for hitting Juan Uribe with a pitch, Armando Benitez got one out for his 29th save in 32 chances.

    Neagle allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

    "I can't really hang my head with this outing,'' he said. "For the most part I did my job, but made one too many bad pitches.''

    Mike Piazza doubled past third base leading off the fourth and Alfonzo homered to center. One out later, Gonzalez hit a letter-high changeup into the seats in left.

    "The home run was a dream come true, one that took a long time to happen,'' Gonzalez said. "But hitting home runs isn't me. They happen when they happen.''

    Colorado scored twice in its half on back-to-back doubles with one out by former Mets Jay Payton and Todd Zeile. Sandy Alomar drove in Zeile with a single past shortstop.

    New York regained a two-run lead in the fifth on Alfonzo's two-out RBI single. Timo Perez drew a one-out walk and stole second.

    Gonzalez hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot, off Victor Santos in the eighth.

    "I got a pretty good pitch because he thought I was going to bunt,'' Gonzalez said. "They had the bunt on and changed and gave me the green light.''

    Gabe Kapler hit a two-run homer off Weathers in the ninth for Colorado. It was Kapler's first home run with the Rockies since being acquired from Texas at the trade deadline.

    Game notes

    Mets OF Roger Cedeno was out of the lineup with soreness in his right shoulder. ... Slumping Mets 1B Mo Vaughn, 3-for-19 on the road trip, got the day off. ... The seven runs were the most scored by the Mets since a 9-0 victory over Milwaukee on Aug. 8. ... The Mets and Rockies split the season series 3-3. ... With Larry Walker missing his fourth straight game because of a dislocated rib, Terry Shumpert made his seventh start of the year in left field for Colorado. ... Neagle's ERA in August is 1.99. ... Plate umpire Jerry Crawford issued a warning in the first inning to Neagle for throwing a pitch behind Perez. Hurdle and Mercker were ejected after the left-hander threw a pitch behind Perez in the top of the ninth. Weathers and Valentine were tossed in the bottom half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press