Seo pitches seven shutout innings for first win

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- First hit, first win, first night to remember
in the big leagues. Jae Seo won't have any trouble recalling this
game, even if the New York Mets' season has been forgettable until

Seo, his future in the Mets' rotation uncertain, pitched seven
shutout innings for his first major league victory and Mo Vaughn
had four hits and four RBIs as New York beat the Pittsburgh Pirates
7-2 Thursday night.

Vaughn had an RBI double in the first and a three-run double in
the seventh. Jeromy Burnitz and Mike Piazza hit long homers as the
Mets won for only the third time on a 10-game road trip in which
they averaged only three runs.

"This was good for everybody," Vaughn said. "We needed this

The Pirates, losing their sixth in nine games, also aren't
scoring and it showed against Seo, a 25-year-old right-hander
making only his fourth major league appearance.

In his first two starts, Seo (1-1) gave up six earned runs and
19 hits in 10 1-3 innings. But he had little trouble with an
opponent that has scored more than three runs only once in 11
games, limiting the Pirates to five singles.

"He started to believe in himself out there and he got more
confident," Piazza said. "He's got the stuff to win some games."

Seo has so much control -- he is yet to walk a batter in 18 1/3
innings -- that he sometimes gives hitters too much to work with.

"I thought he spotted his fastball in and out very well,"
Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He wasn't overpowering, but
his breaking ball was good enough to keep us off balance."

Piazza made sure of that, according to Seo, who singled in the
second for his first career hit.

"My fastball and changeup were working. He made me throw it
outside and low, inside and low," he said.

The Mets easily figured out Jeff D'Amico (1-2), who spent
two-thirds of last season in their rotation before being pulled. He
didn't pitch at all after Sept. 11 and wasn't re-signed after going
6-10 with a 4.94 ERA.

New York did what it has rarely done this season -- give its
starter some run support -- by scoring solo runs in each of the
first three innings. The Mets had eight hits by the fourth against
D'Amico, who has yielded 23 hits in 14 1/3 innings in his first
three starts as Pittsburgh's No. 5 starter.

Roberto Alomar made a difference while leading off for only the
second time this season, getting on base three times with two walks
and a single. He scored twice.

"We had good at-bats all through the lineup," Piazza said.
"Hopefully, we can build off this."

Seo's strong start could make it harder for manager Art Howe to
take him out of the Mets' rotation. Pedro Astacio was expected to
take Seo's place after making another rehabilitation start Friday
in the minors.

"We're taking it day to day," Howe said. "But we're happy
with what he did, that's for sure."

Burnitz's leadoff homer in the second traveled approximately 459
feet to right-center and bounced into the Allegheny River, the
second Mets homer in as many nights to do so. Vaughn's homer to
right field in the ninth Wednesday bounced down some steps and into
the water.

The Mets made it 3-0 in the third with the help of Pirates third
baseman Aramis Ramirez's third error in two nights and seventh of
the season. Ramirez mishandled Ty Wigginton's two-out grounder to
score Cliff Floyd, who singled with one out.

Jason Kendall had an RBI single in the Pirates' eighth against
reliever Scott Strickland.

Piazza hit his second homer in as many nights after previously
not having an RBI all season, a 455-foot drive that struck the
batter's backdrop in center field. But, because of a strong wind
that blew the entire game, Piazza wasn't sure if the ball would go

"The wind was gusting in and there were some balls that were
hit hard that didn't go out,'' Piazza said. "If that ball didn't
go out ... I don't know what to say."

Game notes
Ramirez has seven errors in 15 games after making 19 in 142
games last season. ... Temperatures were in the low 50s, but it
seemed much colder due to the strong, steady wind. ... The Mets won
the first and last games on their road trip, but only one of the
other eight games. ... The Pirates are 2-4 at home, the same record
they had after six home games last season. ... Seo also made one
appearance for the Mets last season. ... Nine homers have bounced
into the river since PNC Park opened in 2001, but only one, by the
Astros' Daryle Ward on July 6, 2002, hit the river on the fly.
Piazza's homer was the first to strike the batters' backdrop.