Series: Game 3 of 3

NY Mets won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, September 23
NY Mets1
Game 2: Wednesday, September 24
NY Mets5
Game 3: Thursday, September 25
NY Mets1

Pirates 3

(74-85, 35-43 away)

Mets 1

(65-93, 34-46 home)

    7:35 PM ET, September 25, 2003

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    PIT 001000110 3 10 0
    NYM 000010000 1 4 1

    W: S. Torres (7-5)

    L: G. Roberts (0-3)

    S: J. Tavarez (10)

    Murphy says goodbye as Mets fall to Pirates

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Piazza came out of the dugout for the ninth inning, made a slight turn to his right and headed to first base.

    As the fans cheered, a memorable night for the New York Mets suddenly got even more special.

    In their last scheduled home game of the season, the Mets lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 Thursday. But the night will be remembered more for two milestone moments than the score.

    Bob Murphy, a Hall of Fame broadcaster who has been with the Mets since the team started play in 1962, was honored in a ceremony at home plate before the game, his final scheduled night in the announcing booth.

    Piazza, the centerpiece of New York's roster in recent years, played first base for the first time as a member of the Mets when he moved from behind the plate in the ninth.

    "I never really thought of it as any sort of event," Piazza said. "It was just something to prepare for."

    Piazza, who took grounders before the game, ran out from the dugout to first base and received loud cheers when the position switch was announced over the public address system at Shea Stadium. Using one of Tony Clark's gloves, Piazza made all three putouts in the inning, including catching a liner off the bat of pinch-hitter Carlos Rivera.

    "I don't remember much," Piazza said. "The ball was hit so hard, and I was just trying to react."

    The move to first has been talked about for months, and Piazza played the position while rehabbing from a groin injury at Triple-A Norfolk in August.

    "I just figured if I was going to do it this year, I wanted our fans to see it," Mets manager Art Howe said.

    It was the first time Piazza played first in a major league game since July 26, 1993, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    "I'm going to keep working at it and see where it fits in," Piazza said.

    Howe was noncommittal when asked if he'd play Piazza at first base at all the rest of the season.

    "I haven't even thought about that," Howe said. "I just wanted to get it over with in front of our fans. I think our fans deserved to see it first."

    As for the rest of the game, pinch-hitter Abraham Nunez hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the go-ahead run for Pittsburgh, and Salomon Torres pitched into the seventh.

    Torres (7-5) rebounded after losing four of his previous five decisions. He allowed four hits and one run in 6 2-3 innings for his first road win since May 17 at Arizona. The Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak.

    "Tonight, the key was concentrating and keeping the ball down, and it's an audition for next season," Torres said. "I think tonight I made their decision on me for next season a little bit harder."

    Julian Tavarez pitched the ninth for his 10th save.

    Jason Kendall hit two RBI singles for the Pirates, who ended the Mets' two-game losing streak.

    Mets starter Tom Glavine had a scare in the first inning when he took a hard one-hopper hit by Jack Wilson right below his right kneecap for a single. Glavine, surrounded by Howe, trainers and teammates, limped back to the mound and took a few warmup tosses before he determined he was able to continue.

    He was also hit on the side of his left knee on an RBI single by Kendall in the third. Glavine left after five innings with bruises on both knees.

    "They're sore," said Glavine, who had both knees wrapped after the game. "After the first one, I thought, 'I don't need this.' But you don't want to end your season like that."

    Glavine had a familiar face at first base for part of this game. Mike Glavine, Tom's younger brother, made his first major league start. He went 0-for-2 with two groundouts to first before being replaced by Clark in the sixth.

    "It wasn't too special," Mike Glavine said. "It kind of didn't go the way I planned."

    Kendall gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the third on a two-out RBI single off Glavine's left leg. The ball ricocheted into right field, allowing Torres to score.

    "Glavine's one of the best left-handers to toe the rubber," Kendall said. "You just have to go up there and try to have a good at-bat."

    Ty Wigginton tied it in the fifth with his 11th homer -- and first since Aug. 22 at Los Angeles.

    Nunez drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly off Jaime Cerda, who came in for Grant Roberts (0-3). Pittsburgh took a 3-1 lead on Kendall's RBI single in the eighth.

    "You want to win on a special night like tonight," Howe said. "Torres was tough and their bullpen was good, too."

    Game notes

    The start of the game was delayed 34 minutes because of the ceremony honoring Murphy. ... Roberts allowed one run, one hit and walked one in 1 1-3 innings. ... Pirates OF Reggie Sanders has missed seven games with a strained left oblique muscle, and remained day to day.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press