Mets win despite Finley’s efforts

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 28, 2000

The Associated Press

Steve Finley made the catch he couldn’t last October for Arizona.

Monday, August 28, 2000

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Steve Finley made the catch he couldn’t last October for Arizona. But the Diamondbacks will have to do a lot more to make it back to the postseason.

Finley’s spectacular catch robbing Robin Ventura of a homer wasn’t enough for the Diamondbacks to overcome Mike Hampton’s sharp pitching in the New York Mets’ 2-1 win Sunday.

Finley couldn’t make that kind of catch last fall when Todd Pratt homered barely beyond Finley’s reach in the same spot at Shea Stadium in the bottom of the 10th to clinch the division series for New York.

”It’s the kind you love to make as an outfielder, but I’d replace both of those today for that one last October,” Finley said. ”In fact, I’d trade both of them for a win.”

Said Mets manager Bobby Valentine: ”It was deja vu all over again. I thought Pratt’s ball was caught and I thought this was over.”

New York increased its wild-card lead over the Diamondbacks to 5 1/2 games and moved within one of Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves lost to St. Louis 7-2.

The Diamondbacks lost for the fifth time in six games and remained 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco in the NL West. The Giants lost 2-1 at Philadelphia.

Hampton (13-7), coming back from a cracked rib, tamed Arizona on three hits in his first game since Aug. 17. He struck out three and walked two, and improved to 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in his last six starts.

”He was aces,” Valentine said. ”I don’t know if we’re out of the woods yet. It’s a situation we’ll monitor and live with.”

Armando Benitez pitched a hitless ninth for his 35th save.

Benny Agbayani hit a solo home run off Armando Reynoso (10-9), ending his four-game winning streak against his former team.

The Mets scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Todd Zeile.

Cardinals 7, Braves 2

Darryl Kile (15-9) pitched an eight-hitter and St. Louis scored three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings for their first series victory at Turner Field since it opened in 1997.

Atlanta starter John Burkett allowed two hits through six innings, leaving with a 2-1 lead, but St. Louis thrived against the Braves’ bullpen.

Kerry Ligtenberg (2-3) surrendered the lead by giving up three runs in the seventh, including a two-run double by Placido Polanco.

Phillies 2, Giants 1, 10 innings

Bobby Abreu homered twice, including a game-winning, inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the 10th, to lead Philadelphia.

Abreu hit the second pitch from Aaron Fultz (3-2) to deep center field. Calvin Murray made a leaping attempt but couldn’t make the catch. The ball caromed away from Murray and Abreu circled the bases.

Rockies 9, Pirates 2

Todd Helton homered and doubled to up his average to .394, and Brian Bohanon backed his own effective pitching with a two-run double as Colorado finished its first three-game sweep on the road since 1998.

Bohanon (8-9) allowed four singles in his first complete game since Sept. 3 against the New York Mets.

Astros 7, Expos 3

Tony Eusebio homered and doubled twice to tie the Houston record with a 23-game hitting streak and Scott Elarton (15-4) pitched his second career complete game.

Moises Alou went 3-for-4 with his 25th homer off Trey Moore (1-4), a two-run shot, as Houston scored four in the fourth at Montreal.

Dodgers 7, Cubs 6, 10 innings

Kerry Wood struck out 11 for his first double-digit strikeout game in almost two years, but his bullpen failed him at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs’ bullpen blew a 5-3 lead and Los Angeles won it in the 10th when Todd Van Poppel (2-4) threw a wild pitch, scoring Jeff Branson.

Padres 2, Brewers 1

Ryan Klesko’s run-scoring single in the eighth lifted visiting San Diego past Milwaukee.

After starter John Snyder held San Diego to just three hits in seven scoreless innings, the Padres rallied against reliever David Weathers (3-5) in the eighth.

Woody Williams (8-5) allowed one run in seven innings. Trevor Hoffman pitched a hitless ninth for his 35th save.