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Mets seize victory with six-run fifth inning

DENVER (AP) -- Their bats unusually quiet in their first two
games at baseball's highest-scoring ballpark, the New York Mets
needed someone to get them going.

Marlon Anderson and Ramon Castro -- two unlikely sources -- did
just that.

Anderson hit two homers, Castro homered and had three RBI and
Victor Zambrano pitched seven strong innings to help the Mets avoid
a three-game sweep to baseball's worst team with a 9-3 victory over
the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

"I feel like those guys are supposed to do that, really in a
lot of ways," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "They have
stepped up and done a tremendous job, maybe a little step above."

New York had five runs and 15 hits the first two games at Coors
Field before finally breaking out at the hitter-friendly park. The
Mets had 13 hits, batted around in a six-run fifth inning and
scored at least nine runs for the ninth time to avoid their first
sweep by Colorado in eight years.

Everyone had a hand in it. David Wright had a two-run double to
extend his hitting streak to 14 games, Jose Reyes had three hits to
push his hitting streak to 10 and every starter had at least one
hit.

But it was Anderson and Castro who got it all started.

Anderson hit his second homer of the season into Colorado's
bullpen in right-center in the second inning, then lifted another
solo shot out to right for his first multihomer game. Castro hit
the next pitch out to left for his third homer, putting the Mets up
3-1 and in position for their seventh win in 10 games.

"It's always good to get the offense going," said Anderson,
who had never hit two homers on any level as a professional. "The
main thing was to get the win, however we had to."

The Rockies were looking for their third sweep of the season and
fourth win in six games. Starter Jamey Wright (5-11) didn't give
them much of a chance.

The right-hander gave up the two homers to Anderson, then
allowed six runs in the fifth before being lifted without getting
an out. Wright gave up 11 hits and matched a career high with nine
runs, the sixth time in 20 starts he's allowed at least six earned
runs.

"It was hard to repeat pitches," Wright said. "I'd throw a
good sinker in the zone and then throw one belt high or well
outside. It was hard to get pitches down at the knees. It seems
like it's been getting harder with each start."

Colorado managed just five hits off Zambrano in seven innings
and stranded 10 runners to match its worst record after 100 games
(36-64 in 1993) in franchise history.

"Their guy came out firing strikes, mixing good breaking balls
to our right-handed hitters with changeups to left-handed
hitters," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "And we didn't do
much against him."

Shaky in his last outing -- six runs in 4 2-3 innings Friday
against Los Angeles -- Zambrano (5-9) was back in form against the
Rockies.

Colorado strung together three two-out singles for a run in the
first, capped by Eric Byrnes' flare to center that ended his
0-for-10 slump. Zambrano didn't allow another hit until Cory
Sullivan hit a two-out single in the fifth and scored on Aaron
Miles' double to the corner in right that made it 9-2.

Zambrano was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth after
allowing two runs -- the 17th time in 19 starts he's allowed three
earned runs or less. And he did it at Coors Field, where he had a
13.50 ERA in his previous two appearances.

"I didn't think it was hard to pitch here, I liked the mound
here," Zambrano said. "I didn't pitch differently here at all."

Zambrano wasn't bad with the bat, either, starting New York's
rally in the fifth inning with a perfectly placed bunt down the
third base line. Wright and Castro each had two-run doubles in the
inning, Carlos Beltran had an RBI double and Miguel Cairo knocked
in a run with a single to put the Mets up 9-1.

"I guess he thinks he's an athlete," Randolph said of
Zambrano. "He does that every once in a while."

Game notes
Mets 1B Doug Mientkiewicz was ejected by home plate umpire
Angel Hernandez in the fifth inning for arguing a called third
strike. ... New York has hit homers in consecutive at-bats twice
this season. The other came April 10 at Atlanta, when Beltran and
Cliff Floyd did it. ... Colorado SS Desi Relaford was 0-for-3 and
is 2-for-34 in July.