Jay Bell hit his first homer in more than a year and matched his career high with five RBIs to spoil John Thomson's debut with the New York Mets as Arizona completed its first-ever sweep with a 9-2 victory Saturday night.
"It was a fun day for us,'' first baseman Mark Grace said. "To come here and win a doubleheader from these guys when the pitchers we had throwing weren't named Schilling or Johnson is a real good day for us.''
More than half of Arizona's wins before Saturday had come from its two aces. But the Diamondbacks didn't need either one to take a doubleheader for the first time in four tries in franchise history.
Arizona has won 10 of 12 to open a season-high six-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West.
New York has lost four of five to fall into fifth place in the wild card race, 5½ games behind Los Angeles.
"Tomorrow is a must win for us,'' first baseman Mo Vaughn said. "It's getting down to the wire.''
Arizona used four sacrifices to score four runs in the third inning with help from two Mets errors and only one hit.
"That's nutty,'' Grace said. "You have to take advantage of your opportunities''
An intentional walk to Luis Gonzalez loaded the bases and Grace
hit the next pitch for a two-run single. Bell followed with a
Tony Tarasco hit a solo homer and Thomson had an RBI single in the fourth to cut Arizona's lead to 4-2. Those were the only runs Batista (6-7) allowed in five innings.
With two outs in the fifth, Bell hit a three-run homer for his first home run since July 21, 2001. Bell added an RBI single in the seventh.
Thomson (7-9), acquired from Colorado at the trade deadline
Wednesday, allowed seven runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in
"I think I did put more pressure on myself than I should have,'' Thomson said.
The poor effort in the second game drew constant boos from the
few fans who stuck around following the difficult loss in the opener.
After the Mets went ahead 5-4 on Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run homer
in the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks tied it against Mets closer
Armando Benitez in the ninth on Counsell's first homer in 73 career
at-bats as a pinch-hitter. It was Counsell's second homer of the year.
"Counsell only hits a couple of home runs a year, but they always seem to come when we need them most,'' Arizona manager Bob
Benitez blew just his third save in 29 chances this year.
"Armando has been near perfect for us, then he gave up the
homer,'' manager Bobby Valentine said. "He laid one in there. It's
kind of frustrating because we had a couple of leads.''
Durazo then hit a 2-1 pitch over the center-field fence for his
fourth career multihomer game.
Durazo, who had two stints on the disabled list this season,
also hit a solo homer in the second and has 11 homers in 112
at-bats this season.
"We all know what Erubiel Durazo is capable of doing,'' Brenly said. "He has so much power, he doesn't have to pull the ball to hit it out of the ballpark. Today was a perfect example of that.''
Kim (5-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win in his
second outing in New York since his World Series meltdown at Yankee
Stadium last year.
Kim, who allowed two game-tying homers and a game-winning shot
in the Series, also got the save on June 12 against the Yankees.
Gonzalez added a two-run homer for Arizona to give him 1,000
Burnitz was the biggest target of the frustrated fans, who sarcastically chanted "MVP! MVP'' as he batted and gave him a standing ovation after a routine catch. Burnitz went 0-for-8 with four strikeouts, dropping his average to .206.
"It was a rough day,'' he said. "That's for sure.''
Mets 2B Roberto Alomar left the second game with a strained
groin and is day to day. Alfonzo missed the second game with a
pulled muscle in his left side. ... Spivey didn't play the second
game because of a bruised left triceps after being hit by a pitch.
... The Mets were swept in a doubleheader for the first time since
May 14, 1998, against San Diego. ... Arizona Game 1 starter Brian
Anderson allowed three runs in six innings.