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New York 11, Toronto 7
Posted: Wednesday July 19, 2000 02:15 AM
New York Mets
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Toronto Blue Jays
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TORONTO (Ticker) -- Mike Piazza hit his third grand slam of the season to snap a fifth-inning tie as the New York Mets took the rubber game of an interleague series with the Toronto Blue Jays, 11-7.

Derek Bell torched his former team with three hits and four runs scored and Lenny Harris continued to provide a spark in the leadoff spot with two hits, three runs and two RBI as the Mets improved to 3-3 on their 11-game road trip.

Mets starter Bobby Jones (4-4) survived six rocky innings, allowing five runs and 10 hits. He walked three, struck out three and improved to 3-1 since being sent to the minor leagues in mid-June to work on his mechanics. The 30-year-old righthander also improved to 2-0 all-time against Toronto.

"A win's a win," Jones said. "Sometimes, you just got to take these (wins) and I'm just happy the team won. To come here and take two out of three is pretty important.

"It was a really weird game. I made some good pitches that were hit, a lot of doubles and homers, but I kept it to one run and didn't allow any big innings."

New York ripped Toronto starter Chris Carpenter, who continues to struggle. Carpenter (7-9) was tagged for seven runs and five hits in four-plus innings and has allowed at least five earned runs in six straight outings.

"I'm battling with them (opposing hitters) and trying to figure out what's going on but it's not working," Carpenter said. "I'm going to throw on the side again and change something. I don't know what it is, but I'm going to figure something out just to get something different going."

Toronto had 11 extra-base hits in the game, including an American League record-tying four doubles by Shannon Stewart. It marked the 20th time in American League history that a player had four two-base hits in a game although, Kansas City's Johnny Damon accomplished the feat later in the contest.

Brad Fullmer had his 16th homer and Raul Mondesi his 24th for the Blue Jays, who have homered in 17 straight home games.

Harris, who went 5-for-8 with five runs scored in the last two games, opened the game with a homer. It was his third career leadoff homer and the third by a Met this season.

Toronto knotted the contest in the bottom of the first inning on consecutive doubles by Stewart and Grebeck. The Blue Jays then forged ahead on a two-out RBI double by Stewart that scored Darrin Fletcher.

The Mets drew even in the third on a two-out single by Edgardo Alfonzo that plated Bell but Toronto continued to hit Jones, pushing across a run in the third on Tony Batista's base hit up the middle.

Trailing 3-2, New York had a chance to bust open the game in the fourth inning. They loaded the bases with none out but only managed a run.

After Jones finally recorded a scoreless inning, the Mets took advantage of Carpenter's wildness in the fifth. Harris walked and stole second. Bell and Alfonzo followed with walks to load the bases and Piazza crushed a 2-1 pitch into the stands in left-center field.

"I was trying not to be overanxious in that situation and make him throw a good pitch," Piazza said. "The way the game went tonight, I felt like I had just one good swing. Fortunately, I made it count."

Piazza's 28th homer was his third this season with the bases loaded. That ties the Mets' record set by John Milner in 1976 and matched by Robin Ventura last season.

Fullmer's homer got the Blue Jays within 7-4 in the fifth but New York answered with a run-scoring double by Alfonzo in the sixth.

Mondesi homered in the seventh but the Mets salted away the game against rookie Matt DeWitt in the eighth. David Lamb walked with one out and scored on Harris double into the left-center field gap. Bell followed with his 13th homer a blast to dead center field.

The Mets finished interleague play 9-9 while the Blue Jays were 9-9 against the National League.

"The Phillies beat us two out of three and so did these guys," Fletcher said. "We've got Tampa coming in and we have to play better baseball. We're all right and we'll get it going."

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