FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- Having the luxury of playing
at first base the day after a night game paid off for the
New York Mets
Piazza's second double of the game drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and the Mets survived two errors in the ninth inning and posted a 3-2 victory over the
to gain a split in the four-game series.
In previous years as a full-time catcher, Piazza would usually sit in a matinee following a night game. But by playing first base as well, Piazza now keeps himself in the lineup more often and the Mets sure need it. They only managed to score one run in four of their last five games and could ill afford to play without Piazza, especially with two regulars -
- already on the disabled list.
"Personally, it's a good situation to stay in the lineup when I'm swinging the bat well no matter where I'm playing," said Piazza, who went 7-for-13 in the four-game series. "Today, it's proof that it's a good situation. It's important that I'm in the middle of the lineup whether I'm getting pitched to or not. Hopefully, it gives our lineup the opportunity to score runs."
With runners on first and third and one out in the seventh inning, Piazza lined a double to left off reliever
to snap a 1-1 tie. After
grounded into a fielder's choice,
followed with an RBI double off the left field wall to increase the lead to 3-1.
The Expos scored an unearned run in the ninth off closer
with the help of errors by third baseman
and left fielder
. Gutierrez booted a potential double play grounder, leaving the Expos with runners on first and second. Then with two outs,
hit a liner to left that went off the glove of Spencer, pulling the Expos within 3-2.
"To be honest with you, I already turned my back so I didn't see ball go off his (Spencer's) glove," said Looper, who earned his fourth save in as many opportunities. "I just told myself to keep throwing strikes."
Looper then retired pinch-hitter
on a grounder to first to end the game.
It marked the 12th time in 16 games that the Expos have scored two runs or less, including each game in this series.
"It's been a bad period for us and it'll be good to finally get home to Montreal," said Expos manager
of Friday's opening game in Canada. "We've been living out of a suitcase and that's difficult to do for a long period of time."
(2-2) had a shutout and a 1-0 lead before yielding a two-out solo home run to Schneider in the seventh inning.
"Trachsel made one bad pitch all day," said Mets manager
of Trachsel's 0-2 pitch that was driven off the right field foul pole. "But our pitching has been outstanding and Trachsel was great again for us."
, who threw seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Mets on April 10, allowed one run in six innings.
(0-1) relieved to start the seventh and promptly issued a walk to Kaz Matsui and a single to
. Fikac retired Spencer on a shallow fly to center before Piazza's go-ahead hit.
In the third inning, Piazza doubled after Spencer was hit by a pitch and Spencer scored on a grounder by