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Mets total nine doubles in attack

5/22/2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mets manager Art Howe called for a hit-and-run
just two batters into the game, setting the tone for a busy night
on the basepaths for New York.

Danny Garcia sliced the first of the Mets' nine doubles down the
left-field line to score Kaz Matsui from first, and New York went
on for a 9-7 win over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

"I'd rather sit back in a rocking chair and watch a
wire-to-wire win," Howe said. "But this was fun. We were both
mixing and matching tonight."

Mike Piazza homered, Garcia and Jason Phillips each had two
doubles and two RBI, and Matt Ginter (1-0) got his first win as a
starter, helping the Mets rebound from two bad offensive
performances in losses to St. Louis.

On a humid and hazy night, the Mets knocked around rookie Jason
Young (0-1) as if they were playing in thin Colorado air, getting
six runs in the first three innings on eight hits, including a home
run and five doubles.

Young strained his right ribcage during warmups but didn't
inform the coaches because he said it had flared up before. He then
allowed six runs.

"That placed us in a hole we couldn't climb out of," Rockies
manger Clint Hurdle said.

Hurdle noticed a dropoff in Young's velocity in the second
inning but never asked if the pitcher was OK. Young doesn't know if
he'll be able to make his next scheduled start.

New York scored in each of the first four innings, had 14 hits
and walked seven times in its best offensive display since scoring
nine times in a win at Los Angeles on April 27.

Garcia had RBI doubles in the first two innings, scoring on a
wild pitch in the first.

Piazza led off a three-run third with his ninth homer, Ginter
got his first big league RBI and Matsui doubled in a run.

In the fourth, reliever Allan Simpson fared no better against a
Mets lineup that scored five runs only once in the previous five
games, allowing a run on two doubles. He left after loading the
bases with one out in the fifth.

Javier Lopez relieved and retired Cliff Floyd on an
inning-ending double play.

Phillips added a two-run double, his second two-base hit, in the
eighth to make it 9-5.

"I think it's a little easier to hit with guys on base because
he pitches out of the stretch and outfielders move -- opening up
some holes," Phillips said.

Ginter was 3-0 in 63 relief appearances for the Chicago White
Sox over four seasons before being the Mets acquired him for Timo
Perez on March 27.

In his first big league start, he gave up two runs -- one earned
-- in 5 2-3 innings against Houston's Roger Clemens last weekend.
Facing a lineup without Todd Helton and the injured Larry Walker,
he labored through five innings, throwing 94 pitches.

He gave up Young's sacrifice fly in the second, Todd Greene's
two-run single in the third and Mark Sweeney's two-run homer in the
fifth.

"I wasn't getting ahead of hitter, and when I did I left the
ball up a bit in the zone," Ginter said.

Ginter retired the side in fourth, only one of two times that
happened Friday -- Mike Stanton got three straight outs in the
eighth.

Ginter allowed five runs and seven hits with a career-high five
strikeouts.

Young made his second start in place of Scott Elarton, who was
designated for assignment Sunday and waived Thursday after going
0-6 with a 9.80 ERA in eight starts. Young, who walked three and
threw a wild pitch, has allowed 12 runs and 15 hits in 8 1-3
innings.

Braden Looper gave up a two-run single in the ninth to Jeromy
Burnitz, making his return to New York after being traded to Los
Angeles in July. He then got pinch-hitter Helton to tap back to the
pitcher with runners on first and second, ending it.

Looper hadn't allowed an earned run in 21 2-3 innings this
season before Burnitz's hit.

Game notes
Mets 2B Jose Reyes, out with a strained right hamstring
since March 26, made his first rehabilitation start for Class-A St.
Lucie on Friday night. In five innings, he went 1-for-2 with a
stolen base. ... Helton did not start his first game of the season
for the Rockies. Manager Clint Hurdle said Helton's back was
bothering him all week. ... The Mets had 10 doubles at Montreal on
Sept. 27, 2001. ... After the game, the Mets recalled Tyler Yates
from Triple-A Norfolk and sent Esix Snead down. Yates will start
Saturday.