Giants 4, Mets 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Felipe Alou recalls how Noah Lowry’s name rarely came up in discussions of San Francisco’s top pitching prospects. Lowry’s stuff was wild, and Matt Cain and Merkin Valdez always were considered the best of the young bunch.
The 20-year-old Cain will get the chance to showcase his talents when he makes his major league Monday night, but Lowry has already proven his dependability every fifth day.
Pedro Feliz hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the sixth and J.T. Snow also connected in the inning, rallying the Giants to help Lowry win his fifth straight start with a 4-1 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday.
Lowry isn’t looking for the limelight—though he will certainly be a strong candidate for NL pitcher of the month after an amazing August.
“Matt Cain and Merkin Valdez are guys with electrifying stuff,” Lowry said. “My fastball is 86-90 and I rely more on mixing speeds. That’s OK, that’s fine with me (to be an unknown). I’d rather go out and stick to the way I do things.”
Snow hit a game-tying home run leading off the inning, a shot into the right-field arcade on a 3-2 pitch from Benson for his fourth homer of the season and first at home. He added an RBI single in the seventh for just his sixth multi-RBI game of the year and first since Aug. 2.
Lowry (11-11) completed an unbeaten August, winning all five of his starts and going at least seven innings in each outing. He hasn’t lost since a 4-1 defeat at Milwaukee on July 31 and received a standing ovation when he walked off in the eighth.
The left-hander followed his team’s impressive offensive inning with a 1-2-3 seventh, his first perfect inning since the first. Lowry allowed five hits and one run, struck out six and walked one in eight innings—and also hit a single.
“He can really pitch,” Alou said. “This is a guy who two years ago bounced a lot of fastballs that fell short of the target. He has worked hard. … Today, he is right there striking out people, stopping rallies, fielding his position, getting base hits and challenging hitters.”
Armando Benitez worked the ninth for his seventh save, second in as many days and third since coming back after missing three months following surgery to repair two torn hamstring tendons to the pelvis. Randy Winn, who had his six-game hitting streak snapped Saturday, doubled and singled for the Giants.
When Lowry struck out Chris Woodward in the sixth, the ball bounced in the dirt and got past catcher Mike Matheny and went into the stands behind the on-deck circle. Beltran, who doubled and advanced on David Wright’s groundout, then scored.
All three games of the series featured impressive pitching performances. San Francisco’s Jason Schmidt beat Tom Glavine 2-1 on Saturday, while Steve Trachsel returned from a back injury to make his season debut Friday and led the Mets to a 1-0 victory.
“I’m happy with winning five out of seven,” New York manager Willie Randolph said. “We didn’t hit the ball well here, but we ran into some good pitching. I don’t care about how many runs we score. We lost. It’ll be good to go home, have an off day and charge the battery a bit before the Phillies come in.”
The Mets finished their road trip 5-2, sweeping lowly Arizona in the first four games. Now, they head home to face the Philadelphia Phillies for three games, then hit the road again for three at Florida, three at Atlanta and four at St. Louis—a stretch everyone in the organization acknowledges is a crucial one for the club’s playoff chances.
Benson (9-6), who beat the Giants 12-1 on June 5 at Shea Stadium, lost his second straight start after being knocked out in the first against Washington on Aug. 21. He looked better Sunday, giving up seven hits in six innings, striking out two and walking two.
“Just one bad pitch,” Benson said. “I tip my hat to J.T. because he hit a good 3-2 changeup. But my slider was not working well today and that’s the pitch that beat me. It was supposed to be down to Feliz and it stayed up.”
Mets OF Cliff Floyd got the day off to rest, giving him a two-day break with Monday’s off day. … Demoted RHP Brett Tomko is upset he didn’t have a face-to-face conversation with someone in management when the team decided to move him to long relief for the remainder of the year. But Tomko said he would do whatever is asked of him over the final month and he hopes to re-sign with the club. Both GM Brian Sabean and Alou seemed annoyed that Tomko complained of a lack of communication. “I don’t think at this stage of his career anybody needs to hold his hand,” Sabean said. … The Mets are 14-8 in games started by Benson. … Snow hit his 40th career homer in August to match his most for any month (also July).
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