Sunday, September 19, 1999

Mets 11, Phillies 1

        NEW YORK — With Mike Piazza sidelined, the New York Mets turned to the unlikeliest of sources for their offense.

        Rey Ordonez went 4-for-5 with his first career grand slam and pitcher Masato Yoshii drove in his first two runs of the season as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-1 Saturday night.

        The Mets, who won for the 10th time in 14 games, moved within one game of Atlanta in the NL East and maintained a three-game lead over Cincinnati in the wild-card race.

        Piazza, who leads the Mets with 35 homers and 114 RBIs, sat out after bruising his left hand Friday. Todd Pratt started in his place and had two hits, but the biggest offensive punch came from Ordonez and Yoshii.

        Ordonez, who hadn't homered since Sept. 15, 1998, singled in the second, doubled in the third, singled in the fifth and delivered his biggest blow in the sixth inning.

        After pinch-hitter Benny Agbayani was intentionally walked to load the bases, Ordonez lined a 1-2 pitch from Carlton Loewer into the seats in left field for a 10-1 lead.

        Ordonez took a curtain call for the fans after his fourth career homer in 1,835 at-bats. The crowd was already in a frenzy after seeing the score of the Braves' 4-3 loss to Montreal posted on the scoreboard.

        Yoshii (12-8), banished to the bullpen for two weeks in August before Rick Reed went on the disabled list, once again bolstered the Mets' chances to make the postseason and his chances of starting if they get there.

        He allowed one run and five hits in seven innings to improve to 5-0 with an 1.49 ERA in his last six starts. But it was his two-run single off Mike Grace (1-3) that helped break open the game in the fifth inning.

        Darryl Hamilton, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a single by Pratt. One out later, Ordonez lined a single to left field, loading the bases for Yoshii.

        Yoshii, a .115 career hitter with three RBIs in 96 at-bats, fell behind 0-2 before grounding a single between shortstop and third base to make it 4-1 and knock out Grace.

        While Amaury Telemaco warmed up, the fans at Shea Stadium started chanting Yoshii's name as he stood proudly on first base.

        Agbayani added a solo home run in the eighth, his third homer in four at-bats after going 160 at-bats without one.

        The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the third inning and a sacrifice fly by Robin Ventura and Hamilton's ninth homer. Hamilton also had an RBI double in the sixth.

        Philadelphia scored its lone run on Kevin Jordan's sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Phillies, who had won two straight games, lost for the 19th time in 22 games.

        Notes: Yoshii is 5-1 with an 1.66 ERA in seven starts since returning to the rotation. ... All four of Ordonez's career homers have come in September. ... The Phillies haven't won three straight games since a four-game streak Aug. 3-Aug. 6. ... Ordonez has not made an error in 86 games, two games shy of former-Met Kevin Elster's NL record for shortstops and nine short of Cal Ripken's major league mark.


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