D-Backs overtake Mets on Gonzalez's blast


NEW YORK (AP) -- Slugfests, shutouts or lengthy doubleheaders --
the Arizona Diamondbacks are winning every kind of ballgame.

Luis Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh
inning to lift Arizona over the New York Mets 12-7 Sunday.

After completing the first doubleheader sweep in franchise
history a day earlier, the Diamondbacks have won the first three of
this four-game series between the last two NL champions -- without
even using Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling.

"We don't get caught up in the fact that those are our two big
guns. We think we're going to win no matter who's on the mound,''
outfielder Steve Finley said. "But it's not bad having them in the
rotation, either.''

Johnson goes for his 16th win Monday against Shawn Estes, and
the Mets will be in dire need of a victory. They have dropped four
straight and five of six to fall into fifth place in the wild card
race, 6 games behind Los Angeles.

Arizona won for the 11th time in 13 games and remained a
season-high six games ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West.

"If we play well, we'll beat anybody anywhere,'' Mark Grace

Ty Wigginton, recalled from the minors earlier in the day to
replace an ailing Roberto Alomar at second base, hit a three-run
shot for New York -- his first major league home run. He added a
double and finished 4-for-5.

But in a wild game filled with seven longballs, Gonzalez struck
the biggest blow.

Craig Counsell drew a leadoff walk from Mark Guthrie (5-1)
leading off the seventh and reached third when third baseman John
Valentin threw away Greg Colbrunn's grounder for an error.

Gonzalez fouled off four 0-2 pitches before connecting for his
24th home run, a 417-foot drive off the bottom of the scoreboard in

"One of the best at-bats I've seen in a long time,''
Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "Those are the kind of
at-bats Gonzo's been able to put together since the All-Star break,
grinding every time, and that's probably why his numbers have shot
up so much.''

Guthrie had pitched 27 consecutive scoreless innings over 33
outings since May 25, the longest streak in the majors this year
and best for the Mets since Dwight Gooden went 31 innings in 1985.

"I was trying to bounce the ball off the plate and I didn't get
it there,'' Guthrie said. "He's a great hitter, but I felt if I
bounced it, he'd swing at it.''

Finley, a late addition to the lineup because David Dellucci
didn't feel well, also hit a three-run shot and drove in four runs.
Brenly planned to rest Finley because he'd struggled against Mets
starter Al Leiter.

"I think from now on we're going to wait until right before
gametime to let him know if he's playing or not,'' Brenly said.

Mike Koplove (3-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the
victory. Byung-Hyun Kim got five outs for his 27th save in 31
chances, and first since July 16.

"Just a tremendous job by (the bullpen) to come in and kind of
bring some sanity to a crazy ballgame,'' Brenly said. "They did an
outstanding job today.''

The Mets hit four homers off rookie John Patterson, making his
third career start. Mo Vaughn, Roger Cedeno and Timo Perez all went
deep, joining Wigginton.

Mike Piazza singled with two outs in the first, and Vaughn
followed with his 18th home run of the year.

Leiter gave up four straight hits to start the second. Matt
Williams looped an RBI single to center, and Finley sent a 1-2
pitch into the right-field bullpen for a 4-2 lead.

Colbrunn led off the third with his fifth home run.

Wigginton hit a three-run homer to center in the third inning to
tie it at 5. He was greeted warmly in the dugout by his teammates
and got a huge cheer from the Shea Stadium crowd of 40,515 when he
came out for a curtain call.

"I had no idea anything had happened up here. I flew in this
morning and I saw I was in there and I was at second,'' Wigginton
said. "Personally, you'd have to say I had a pretty good game, but
the team lost. If I went 0-for-4 and had the team win, I'd take

Tony Womack and Craig Counsell hit RBI singles in the fourth to
give Arizona a 7-5 advantage.

But that lead didn't last long either, as Cedeno and Perez hit
consecutive home runs to start the bottom half.

Quinton McCracken added a sacrifice fly and Finley an RBI single
in the ninth for Arizona.

Game notes
The seven combined home runs tied a Shea Stadium record,
done six times previously. ... Alomar sat out with a strained
groin. ... Valentin started for 3B Edgardo Alfonzo, who was
sidelined by sore ribs and is expected to miss a few games. ...
Brenly was ejected by second base umpire Marvin Hudson for arguing
a pickoff play in the eighth.