Mets 3, Expos 1

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NEW YORK (AP)—Steve Trachsel gave the New York Mets just the lift they needed after an awful weekend.

Trachsel pitched seven neat innings and Ty Wigginton hit a two-run double as New York snapped a five-game losing streak Monday night with a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Expos.

“Some losing streaks seem a lot longer than others,” Mets manager Art Howe said.

Cliff Floyd added an RBI single for the Mets, who played one of their cleanest games in a dismal season and won for only the second time in 11 tries.

The Yankees completed a six-game season sweep of the Subway Series the day before, leaving embarrassed Mets fans all over the city without much to look forward to the rest of the year.

“Any time you can win after a tough weekend like that it’s nice,” Trachsel said. “I was definitely trying to block that out and not think about it on the mound, but now that it’s over I feel real good about it.”

Trachsel (7-5) has been the Mets’ most reliable starter of late with four solid outings in a row—including a one-hit shutout at Anaheim on June 15.

Changing speeds effectively, the right-hander held Montreal to one run and five hits, striking out three and walking two.

“He’s just staying ahead of hitters. He’s got a nasty curveball and a nasty split and that can really keep guys off-balance,” Howe said. “He made it look pretty easy there for a while.”

After David Weathers got two outs in the eighth, Armando Benitez entered to boos from the crowd of 29,829. But he retired cleanup hitter Jose Vidro on one pitch with a runner on, then finished for his 19th save in 24 chances.

“The way we’re going right now, we weren’t going to score more than three, four or five runs at the most,” Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. “That’s why early, you don’t like to see us get behind. We don’t play well from behind.”

The Mets are 35-46 at the halfway point of the season, last in the NL East.

“Thank goodness the first half is over,” Howe said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, that’s pretty obvious. But we’re anxious to get after it.”

Wil Cordero had three hits for Montreal. He doubled in the second and scored on Ron Calloway’s sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

The Mets, however, responded almost right away. Roberto Alomar singled against Javier Vazquez (6-6) leading off the third, Floyd doubled with one out and both scored when Wigginton doubled over the head of center fielder Endy Chavez.

“Trachsel’s a veteran pitcher. He knows how to pitch with a lead,” Expos catcher Michael Barrett said. “He mixes his pitches really well. I think the key for him tonight was getting a lot of first-pitch strikes, getting ahead of us, then he could move the ball around.”

Jeromy Burnitz doubled with one out in the fifth and Floyd followed with a line-shot RBI single inside the first-base line to make it 3-1.

“I was saying to Matty (coach Matt Galante), it would be nice if we broke this thing open to like 6-1 every once in a while,” Howe said. “But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. I’m happy we won.”

Vazquez allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings, striking out five. He is winless in last four starts.

“He didn’t feel his best today. But once again, he pitched well enough for us to win,” Barrett said. “He made some adjustments as the game went on and Ithought he got more effective.”

Notes

Vazquez became the 200th right-handed starter in a row for Montreal. Bruce Chen was the last lefty to start a game for the Expos on May 19, 2002, at Los Angles. … The Expos had won their last five meetings with the Mets this season, including a four-game sweep in Puerto Rico in April. … Trachsel is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his last four starts. He improved to 8-4 lifetime against Montreal. … Vazquez walked the bases loaded in the first but retired Jason Phillips to escape the jam. … Mets rookie SS Jose Reyes tripled in thesecond, his sixth hit in 36 left-handed at-bats (.167).

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