Mets 4, Diamondbacks 3

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NEW YORK (AP)—Cliff Floyd feels more of a burden to carry the New York Mets’ offense these days because of injuries that have sidelined three regulars.

He delivered against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Floyd homered and drove in three runs and the New York Mets beat Arizona 4-3 on Saturday night, extending the Diamondbacks’ losing streak to nine games.

“We all understand our jobs,” Floyd said. “That’s why it’s a 25-man roster. We’ve got to pick up the slack for each other.”

With the Mets missing Mike Piazza and Jose Reyes on the disabled list and Kaz Matsui perhaps headed there, too, Floyd becomes more vital to their attack. He had been struggling lately, and he knew it.

“I’ve been thinking about it every night,” he said. “I’m working as hard as I can, putting out my best effort, but lately, I’ve been getting nothing. I can’t get down on myself.”

The Diamondbacks provided a cure.

Floyd, 2-for-4, entered with a .368 career batting average against Arizona, the third-highest lifetime average for anyone with 100 at-bats against the Diamondbacks. He added to that production against Edgar Gonzalez (0-6).

“I had been hitting a lot on the ground,” he said. “Tonight, I released my top hand and let my bottom hand do more for me. There was a little sink to his pitches. I stayed with it.”

Al Leiter (9-4) worked into the seventh inning to earn the victory, the Mets’ third in a row and fourth in five games. Braden Looper pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances.

The Mets nicked Gonzalez for a run in the first when Eric Valent led off with a double. Joe McEwing sacrificed and with Arizona’s infield playing in, Floyd lined a single off the glove of second baseman Scott Hairston.

Arizona came right back in the second inning. Shea Hillenbrand led off with a single against Leiter, who came in leading the majors with a 2.52 ERA. Scott Hairston followed with his ninth homer, and second in as many nights. He had three hits, continuing his recovery from a 5-for-34 slump.

“I’m seeing the ball better,” Hairston said. “It’s all about rhythm and timing for me. Trying to get out of a slump facing somebody like Al Leiter, it’s hard.”

The homer gave the Diamondbacks a lead in a game for the first time in a week, but it didn’t last long.

In the third, McEwing reached on an error by third baseman Andy Green and Floyd followed with his 16th homer over the left-field wall, putting the Mets back on top. It was the 10th time this season Floyd gave the Mets a lead with a homer.

“I’ve been trying so hard to hit the ball in the left-center gap,” Floyd said. “I was more relaxed and got results. It’s part of the game.”

Arizona loaded the bases in the sixth on two walks and an infield hit by Hairston. But Leiter escaped by getting Tim Olson on a roller for the third out.

The Mets immediately added to their lead when David Wright was hit by a pitch leading off the sixth and scored on a triple by Vance Wilson.

Arizona knocked Leiter out in the seventh on hits by pinch-hitter Quinton McCracken and Alex Cintron and Danny Bautista’s two-out RBI single, cutting New York’s lead to 4-3. Ricky Bottalico relieved and retired Hillenbrand on one pitch, ending the rally.

“We just fell short trying to get that one hit,” Arizona manager Al Pedrique said.


Before Hairston’s second-inning homer, the Diamondbacks had not led in a game since last Saturday when McCracken led off with a home run against Atlanta. … The loss left Arizona with a 1-18 record and 15 straight losses on Saturdays. … Gonzalez had two singles for the Diamondbacks, his first hits this season and the first two-hit game for an Arizona pitcher since Brandon Webb had two hits on April 7 against Colorado. … The game was played in a steady drizzle.

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