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Padres call victory a bit lucky

5/20/2002

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres found out a little bit
about themselves in rallying to beat the New York Mets.

Bubba Trammell, batting cleanup since Phil Nevin went on the
disabled list, laid down a sacrifice bunt for the first time as a
professional ballplayer. Mark Kotsay committed a baserunning
blunder, then came back to score the tying run and drive in the
winning run as the Padres beat the Mets 4-3 on Sunday.

The Padres avoided a four-game sweep and snapped the Mets'
five-game winning streak. Just as importantly, they proved they can
win when their big guns either aren't playing or aren't hitting.

"I'll be honest, we were lucky to win this game," manager
Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't play all that well. We made some
mistakes. The last couple of innings, we had some big hits, did
some things right and we scored because of it."

Kotsay, who's been bothered by a bad cold, finished 4-for-5 with
one RBI and two runs scored.

Tom Lampkin started the winning rally with a leadoff walk
against Scott Strickland (2-2) and took third on D'Angelo Jimenez's
one-out, hit-and-run single to left.

After Trenidad Hubbard struck out, Kotsay hit a 1-2 fastball
past first baseman Mo Vaughn into right field to score Lampkin.

Kotsay's big hit helped get him off the hook for being doubled
off first on Ryan Klesko's line drive to third in the fifth.

"I made an aggressive baserunning error that could have been
costly," Kotsay said. "Fortunately we came back and won that
game. We made some mistakes. To get a win against a quality
ballclub, it shows we battled and it shows out pitching staff gave
us an opportunity."

Mets manager Bobby Valentine felt Vaughn should have tried
harder to go after Kotsay's ball.

"No one else was going to catch it," Valentine said. "What
have we got to lose?"

Vaughn said he didn't react as well as he could have.

"I could have made a better attempt at it, at least diving for
that ball," he said. "I wish I had laid out. I didn't dive like I
should have."

Shut down for four straight innings by their longtime nemesis,
Mets starter Pedro Astacio, the Padres rallied for a run off
reliever Mark Guthrie to tie it at 3 in the eighth.

Kotsay and Klesko singled to chase Guthrie and advanced on
Trammell's sacrifice bunt. Kotsay scored on Deivi Cruz's grounder.

In 997 games and 3,775 plate appearances in his pro career,
dating to 1994, no manager had asked him to bunt before Sunday.

"I said, `Now's a good time to learn,"' Bochy said. "And he
laid down a perfect one. We've got the tying and winning runs in
scoring position. At that point, you've got to get that run in."

Trammell, a big leaguer since 1997, was up for the challenge.

"We definitely needed to get them over," he said. "Boch asked
me if I think I can do it and I told him, yeah, I thought I could.
I got a pitch I could handle and made the third baseman field it,
and got it done."

Reliever Steve Reed (1-1) struck out the side in the Mets'
ninth, including pinch-hitter Mike Piazza.

The Padres seemed to have figured out Astacio early on, scoring
in the second and third innings to go up 2-0. Although Astacio's
pitches were breaking a lot of Padres' bats, Lampkin hit a
bases-loaded grounder in the second and Klesko an RBI single in the
third. Both broke their bats.

Astacio, who came in with a 9-4 lifetime record against San
Diego, then faced the minimum 12 batters the next four innings. He
allowed only a single leading off the fifth by Kotsay, who was
erased in a double play when he was caught too far off the bag on
Klesko's liner to third.

The Mets rallied in the fourth against Brian Tollberg to go
ahead 3-2. Only one of the runs was earned because of third baseman
Sean Burroughs' fielding error on Timo Perez's grounder opening the
inning.

Vaughn and Joe McEwing hit RBI singles and Rey Ordonez had an
RBI grounder.

Astacio allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, struck
out two and walked one. Tollberg allowed three runs, one earned, on
seven hits in six innings, struck out two and walked one.

Game notes
Padres reliever Kevin Pickford, Alan Embree and Reed
pitched three perfect innings to end the game. ... Mets 3B Edgardo
Alfonzo missed his second straight game with a slightly strained
hamstring. Valentine said Alfonzo plans to see his chiropractor on
Monday, an off day. The Mets open a three-game series at Philadelphia on Tuesday.