Mets 8, Rangers 2

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—While Cliff Floyd doesn’t particularly like the designated hitter role, he played it well for the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

Floyd was 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs, backing another solid outing by rookie right-hander Jae Weong Seo as the Mets beat the Texas Rangers 8-2.

“I contributed tonight after last night and not sleeping because I thought I flat-out just stunk,” said Floyd, referring to his 0-for-4 game when he left four runners on in his first game as DH, a 9-7 Mets loss.

In his second game solely hitting, Floyd started and ended the Mets’ scoring. He had a two-run single in the first to put New York ahead, and hit his 13th homer in the seventh, a two-run shot that made it 8-2.

“I got it going in the first inning. I was nice and hot and sweating and gave my pitcher a little bit of a lead,” Floyd said. “I give credit to designated hitters across the league. It’s not something where you can just go out there and hit. You’ve got to somehow stay loose, somehow stay focused.”

Seo (4-2) struck out six and scattered eight hits, allowing just two runs over seven innings. He has given up three earned runs or less in 11 of his 12 starts, and has a 2.44 ERA (16 earned runs in 59 innings) the last nine.

“He’s pitching great baseball for us. He keeps going out there and getting the job done for us, throwing strikes with everything,” Mets manager Art Howe said.

Seo also made a tremendous defensive play to end the Texas fifth after slugger Rafael Palmeiro dribbled a ball off the end of his bat. Seo hustled off the mound, slid to make a barehanded grab of the ball and then got up to throw Palmeiro out by a step at first.

“That was probably the play of the game, I don’t know how he made that play,” Howe said.

Alex Rodriguez had three hits, and Einar Diaz was 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and drove in both Texas runs.

Jeromy Burnitz extended his slump to 0-for-23 when he grounded into a double play to end New York’s first. He had two run-scoring hits after that.

Roberto Alomar led off the Mets fourth with a double and came home on Burnitz’s double. An inning later, Tony Clark had a leadoff homer, and Floyd and Burnitz later had consecutive RBI singles.

The Mets started the game with consecutive singles by Roger Cedeno and Timo Perez off Victor Santos (0-1). Alomar laid down a sacrifice bunt to set up Floyd’s first RBIs.

Floyd is hitting .447 (17-of-38) over his last 12 games, with 32 RBIs the last 35 games. He drove in just seven runs in his first 24 games with New York.

Santos gave up five runs on seven hits over 4 2-3 innings.

“It was a bad outing. I made a few mistakes in the zone,” Santos said. “Basically, I was missing my spots up in the zone. That’s where the problem is.”

Michael Young had a one-out hit in the second and scored the first Texas run on Diaz’s single. Mark Teixeira was hit by a Seo pitch to start the sixth and later scored on the sacrifice fly by the Rangers catcher.

That was all the Rangers managed off Seo.

“He is very athletic and has a lot of ways to get hitters out,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s very unpredictable, and uses the hitters’ aggressiveness against them.”

A night after going 2-for-4 with two runs scored in his major league debut, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes went 0-for-3 on his 20th birthday. But he also had a highlight-worthy defensive play.

Reyes dove to his right to stab Doug Glanville’s grounder in the sixth, then got up and completed the throw across the field for the last out of theinning.

Notes

Alomar was hit on the elbow by a pitch in the fifth, but initially stayed in the game and batted again in the seventh. Joe McEwing took over at second base in the bottom of the seventh. Howe said the elbow tightened up on Alomar and was swollen slightly. … Texas is 3-13 since its seven-game winning streak. … Howe has 68 interleague wins, the most by any manager since interleague play began in 1997. He has two with the Mets, and the other 66 withOakland against the NL the previous six years.

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