<
>

Mets' Yates gets first MLB win

NEW YORK (AP) -- One win into his major league career, Tyler
Yates already is a TV star -- at least at the Poipu Beach Broiler on
the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

That's because his father owns the place and installed a
satellite dish 1{ years ago.

"We got it when we opened, hoping it would happen," Gary Yates
said Monday night after his son shut down the punchless Montreal
Expos on five hits over 5 2-3 innings, leading the New York Mets to
a 4-1 victory.

Gary Yates and his wife were at Shea Stadium for the win along
with Tyler's girlfriend, Liezel. It was an unusually warm night --
61 degrees at gametime -- so all the Hawaiians among the crowd of
14,002 were pretty comfortable, not shivering the way they had been
for last week's start against Atlanta.

He called the restaurant, where he said 50 people had gathered
for the game. It coincided with happy hour because of the time
difference -- $3.50 margaritas and $2 beers.

"Am I touching the ground or what?" Gary Yates said in the
Mets clubhouse. "It's probably as big a thrill for me as it is for
him."

Karim Garcia and Ty Wigginton backed their pitcher with homers
off Tomo Ohka (0-3), and the Mets rebounded from three losses
against Pittsburgh to send the Expos (2-11) to their eighth
straight defeat, Montreal's worst skid since 2000.

Yates (1-1) was staked to a 4-0 lead before giving up his only
run in the fifth inning, when first baseman Todd Zeile threw a
potential double-play grounder into left-center, allowing Juan
Rivera to come home from second on the error.

After the game, the 26-year-old right-hander had the lineup card
and two balls: the one that ended the game and the one from his
first career hit, in the fourth inning.

"It's a pretty good feeling," he said. "It's probably the
most fun I've had playing baseball thus far."

He got a no-decision against the Expos in his first start on
April 9 in Puerto Rico and lost to Atlanta in last week. He has
been working on his mechanics, trying to keep his head steady
rather than jerking it toward first base, which causes his pitches
to stay up.

"It was great having a youngster out on the mound stop a losing
streak," Mets manager Art Howe said.

Relievers John Franco, Mike Stanton and Braden Looper finished
up. Yates, sitting in the dugout, kept concentrating on each pitch
Looper threw, as if he still were in the game. Looper loaded the
bases with two outs in the ninth on three straight singles before
retiring Tony Batista on a grounder for his third save.

Montreal got 10 hits, all singles, and stranded 12 runners. The
Expos have just 20 runs this season, getting shut out four times
and scoring one run in three other games. They haven't scored more
than four in any game.

"We're not driving the ball, we're not getting extra-base hits,
we're not scoring," manager Frank Robinson said. "Unless we go
out there and shut somebody out ..."

He interrupted himself.

"Even then," Robinson said, "we might just get a tie."

Montreal got four runners on during the second, third and fourth
innings but didn't push any of them home.

Meanwhile, Mike Piazza doubled leading off the second, a ball
Matt Cepicky could have caught with a good defensive play at the
left-field wall, and scored on Wigginton's sacrifice fly. Ricky
Gutierrez's RBI double made it 2-0, Garcia homered leading off the
third and Wigginton homered starting the fourth.

Ohka, 1-5 against the Mets, allowed four runs -- three earned --
and six hits in four innings. He stole a base for the first time in
his career when the Mets failed to hold him at first following a
two-out single in the second.

"I just wanted to show my attitude, that I was trying to do
everything to win the game," he said through a translator.

That wasn't the only strange sight for Robinson.

"I was looking at the scoreboard," he said, "and thinking the
clock said `10:84,' `10:82,' `10:85,' it's `The Twilight Zone' --
maybe we'll wake up tomorrow and it will be 0-0 in the standings."
^Notes:@ Montreal hadn't lost eight in a row since a nine-game skid
from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1, 2000. ... The previous Hawaiian-born
pitcher to win for the Mets was Sid Fernandez at Miami on Oct. 2,
1993. ... Expos OF Peter Bergeron was out of the lineup with sore
ribs following a collision at second base with Philadelphia's Jimmy
Rollins during a double play Sunday. Robinson said Bergeron will
undergo tests.