Mets' Valent hits for cycle in win

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2004

MONTREAL Eric Valent became the eighth player in Mets history to hit for the cycle, and Mike Cameron homered twice to lead New York to a 10-1 victory over the Montreal Expos on Thursday.

Valent went 4-for-4 with a walk and drove in three runs and scored three times in becoming the fourth player in the majors this season to hit a single, double, triple and home run in a game. He joined Milwaukee's Chad Moeller, Pittsburgh's Daryle Ward and Philadelphia's David Bell in accomplishing the feat.

Valent singled following Cameron's two-run homer off Rocky Biddle in the second, and doubled after Cameron's solo shot put the Mets up 5-0 in the third. He tied his career high for hits with a two-run homer off a speaker against Sun-Woo Kim in the fifth. Valent's RBI triple in the seventh off Roy Corcoran completed the Mets' first cycle since John Olerud did it on Sept. 11, 1997 also against the Expos.

Al Leiter (7-3) allowed three hits and one run in six innings, improving to 6-1 in his last 10 starts. Leiter has a 2.18 ERA, and 1.00 in three starts against Montreal this season, allowing just two runs in 18 innings.

Biddle (2-5), who began the season as Montreal's closer, allowed seven hits and five runs in three innings.

Marlins 10, Phillies 1

MIAMI Alex Gonzalez hit the first grand slam of his career, Dontrelle Willis pitched seven innings and the Florida Marlins swept the Philadelphia Phillies at home for the fourth time in a row.

It was the Phillies' 14th consecutive loss in Miami, including seven this year. Most of the games have been close, but this time seven consecutive Marlins scored in the third inning against Paul Abbott (1-5), capped by Gonzalez's 15th homer for an 8-0 lead.

The Marlins are 11-1 against the Phillies this season and have won 23 of the past 26 meetings.

Willis (8-6) limited Philadelphia to five hits and one run.

Braves 3, Pirates 2

PITTSBURGH Rafael Furcal made up for two errors with a go-ahead single during Atlanta's two-run, ninth-inning rally against closer Jose Mesa, and the Braves came back to beat the Pirates.

The Braves won their third in the four-game series, sixth in seven games overall and 15th in 20. They also took the season series from Pittsburgh 4-2, and are 11-4 against the Pirates the last two seasons.

Mesa had converted 29 of 30 save opportunities heading into the ninth, but immediately got into trouble when Johnny Estrada and Julio Franco singled. Shortstop Jack Wilson's throwing error on Franco's infield single also helped by moving Mark DeRosa, who ran for Estrada, to third.

Cubs 4, Brewers 0

MILWAUKEE Carlos Zambrano gave up four hits over eight shutout innings and Sammy Sosa homered in the Cubs victory.

Zambrano (10-6) walked two and struck out eight in snapping a personal three-game losing skid. He needed 31 pitches to get out of the first inning, but then allowed just two more hits.

Kyle Farnsworth allowed a hit and walked a batter in the ninth before completing the five-hitter.

Diamondbacks 6, Astros 4

HOUSTON Lance Cormier won the first game of his brief major league career, and Shea Hillenbrand hit a two-run homer to lead Arizona to just its second win since the All-Star break.

Cormier (1-2), making his third start in the big leagues, lasted six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. The 23-year-old right-hander even tallied his first career hit with a single in the sixth, almost getting thrown out at first when he halfheartedly started running toward the base.

Greg Aquino got three outs for his second save in as many chances, but gave up Craig Biggio's two-out homer that made it 6-4.

Padres 7, Giants 4

SAN DIEGO Phil Nevin singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to help the Padres overcome Barry Bonds' 684th career homer.

The Padres won three in the four-game series and remain 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. San Diego is 10-3 this season against the Giants, who fell 4 1/2 games out of first.

Bonds hit a two-run shot, his 26th home run of the season, in the fourth inning off Ismael Valdez.

Blaine Neal (1-1) pitched 2-3 of an inning for the win. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 31 chances.

Brett Tomko (5-6) took the loss, allowing eight hits and six runs in five innings.

American League

NEW YORK Sidney Ponson pitched a four-hitter for his third straight win and Javy Lopez homered again, leading the Baltimore Orioles past the New York Yankees 9-1 Thursday night.

Melvin Mora drove in four runs, Lopez had three RBIs and Miguel Tejada hit a pair of RBI singles for Baltimore. The Orioles won for just the second time in 10 games against the AL East leaders this season.

Ponson struck out five and walked none in his third complete game.

Athletics 7, Rangers 6

ARLINGTON, Texas Adam Melhuse hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth and Erubiel Durazo went 3-for-4 and drove in a big insurance run to push Oakland into first place in the AL West.

Texas led the division by 4 1/2 games after beating Oakland last Friday, but the A's have won six straight to erase the lead.

Chad Bradford (5-4) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win. Carlos Almanzar (7-2) took the loss.

Devil Rays 2, Royals 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Rob Bell and three relievers combined on a four-hitter, and Tino Martinez had three hits and an RBI for Tampa Bay.

Bell (4-4) struck out three and walked two in 6 1-3 scoreless innings in the Devil Rays' third straight win following a six-game losing streak. Jesus Colome and Trever Miller pitched a scoreless 1 2-3 innings, and Danys Baez threw a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 22 opportunities.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2

DETROIT Jason Johnson allowed three hits over six innings, handing Chicago its fifth straight loss.

Johnson (8-8) won for the fourth time in five decisions. Four relievers held the White Sox scoreless over three innings, with Ugueth Urbina pitching a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.

Bobby Higginson grounded out with the bases loaded in the sixth, scoring Dmitri Young with the go-ahead run.

Mariners 6, Angels 5, 13 innings

ANAHEIM, Calif. Ichiro Suzuki had a career-high five hits and scored the game-winning run on Bret Boone's single in the 13th inning to snap the Mariners' club-record 15-game road losing streak.

Suzuki, who extended his hitting streak to 21 games, led off the 13th with a double against rookie Kevin Gregg (3-1). After Randy Winn struck out, Boone grounded a 1-2 pitch up the middle to score Suzuki.

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