Mets drop seventh straight at Shea


NEW YORK (AP) -- Brian Lawrence was his usual, maddening self. So
were the New York Mets, for that matter.

Lawrence pitched into the eighth inning and Bubba Trammell and
Ron Gant homered as the San Diego Padres beat the Mets 6-2
Wednesday night to send the Mets to their 10th loss in 13 games.

The Mets have lost seven straight home games, their longest
since also dropping seven straight at Shea Stadium in July 1982.

''Things aren't going our way,'' Mets catcher Vance Wilson said.
''If you watch these other teams, they're making their breaks. We
are not. They're swinging and fouling off tough pitches, and we're
swinging and missing.''

The Mets fell behind early, when Gant hit a two-run homer in the
first inning, staking Lawrence to a lead he wouldn't relinquish.

The Padres, who have an ERA on the road about two runs higher
than at home, won their 19th road game. Only the Tigers, Brewers,
Royals and Devil Rays have won fewer road games.

Not that it matters to Lawrence.

''I feel pretty much the same,'' Lawrence said. ''At home, on
the road, it doesn't matter to me.''

Lawrence (11-6) has won four of his last five decisions and
seven of 10. He gave up one earned run on seven hits, and was
relieved after John Valentin led off the eighth with a hard single
up the middle. Lawrence struck out four, walked one and hit two

''He's kept us in every game,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
''He's been a horse for us.''

Trevor Hoffman came on with two on and one out in the ninth and
got pinch-hitter Marco Scutaro to hit the first pitch for a
game-ending double play, the Mets' third of the night. Hoffman has
30 saves in 32 chances.

''We need to get a couple good at-bats during some rallies, and
we're just not getting them,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said.
''We've just got to do it, not talk about it.''

Lawrence induced two double plays, and leads the majors with 25
this season. Texas' Kenny Rogers has 24.

''He pitched the same way all through the game -- steady,'' New
York's Tony Tarasco said. ''He was definitely steady tonight.''

Trammell, traded to the Padres by the Mets after the 2000
season, hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning. He is 14-for-43
with three homers against the Mets since the trade, and batting
.368 against them in his career.

Al Leiter pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on five hits
and two walks. He struck out five as he lost for the third time in
four decisions. The Mets are 1-4 in his last five starts.

Leiter (10-9) struggled in the first three innings, giving up
Gant's first-pitch homer, and Phil Nevin worked eight pitches from
him before driving in a run with a sacrifice fly on the ninth

Through the first three innings, Leiter threw 61 pitches, but
retired the side on five pitches in the fourth and pitched a
perfect fifth as well.

After Gant walked in the sixth, Trammell connected for his 12th
homer, giving San Diego a 5-1 lead.

''I had better stuff and I thought I threw better than my last
start,'' Leiter said. ''I thought I had good stuff, but it amounted
to a big, fat loss.''

Lawrence, meanwhile, retired the leadoff man in each of the
first three innings, but hit Perez with a pitch to start the fourth
and gave up a double to Rey Ordonez to begin the fifth.

He got out of trouble in the fifth when John Valentin grounded
into a double play. Lawrence wasn't as successful in the sixth,
when Perez hit a leadoff double and scored on Tarasco's groundout
to first base for Lawrence's only earned run.

Tarasco's sacrifice fly in the fourth drove in Perez, but the
run was unearned, because Perez advanced to third base on an error
by center fielder Trenidad Hubbard on Mo Vaughn's single.

Game notes
Hoffman became the first reliever in major league history
to have 30 or more saves in eight different seasons (1995-2002). He
is also the fifth to have eight 30-save seasons. John Franco of the
Mets did it from 1987-91, in 1994 and 1997-98. ... Ordonez
committed his team-high 16th error on Hubbard's grounder in the
seventh inning. ... Mets C Mike Piazza was out of the lineup for
the second game in a row after being diagnosed with tendinitis in
his left wrist. Wilson started in place of Piazza, who is hitting
.285 with 23 home runs and 73 RBI. ... OF Mark Kotsay was out of
the Padres' lineup again. He missed Tuesday's game because of a
bruised left thumb. ... Roger Cedeno was booed after he grounded
out to second with two outs and the light-hitting Ordonez up next
in the second inning. ... Pinch-hitter Jeromy Burnitz was loudly
booed when he was announced in the seventh, and again after he
struck out.