Mets lack spark in crucial loss to Pittsburgh

Posted: Tuesday, October 02, 2001

NEW YORK -- Gary Matthews Jr. hit a long homer and drove in three runs and Jimmy Anderson allowed just four hits in eight innings to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-1 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

New York, which blew any comeback hopes by losing two of three in Atlanta last weekend, dropped 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East.

Most Mets fans abandoned their team on a chilly autumn night. The crowd of 6,315 was the lowest at Shea Stadium since Sept. 17, 1991, when 4,355 came to a game against Montreal.

Anderson (9-17) stopped Pittsburgh's four-game losing streak and didn't allow a runner past second base after the fourth inning. After Rich Loiselle put on the first two runners in the ninth, Scott Sauerbeck finished the five-hitter for his second save.

American League

Yankees 8, White Sox 1

NEW YORK -- Sterling Hitchcock pitched his first complete game since 1998 to help New York beat the Chicago White Sox Monday night in front of the smallest crowd at Yankee Stadium in more than seven years.

Only 8,112 fans showed up for the game, which was a makeup from Sept. 11, when the terrorism attacks that devastated New York shut down baseball for six days.

Most of the fans who had tickets for that game opted to trade them in for another game.

Hitchcock (4-4), acquired from San Diego on July 30, pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game since Aug. 14, 1998, against Milwaukee, when he was still with the Padres. Hitchcock also had a season-high eight strikeouts.

Blue Jays 1, Orioles 0

BALTIMORE -- Jose Cruz Jr. homered to back a solid pitching performance by Esteban Loaiza as Toronto beat Baltimore.

Cal Ripken, beginning the final homestand of his career, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is hitless in his last 25 at-bats. He also had two throwing errors from third base, his first two-error game since April 1999.

Devil Rays 10, Red Sox 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tanyon Sturtze became Tampa Bay's first 10-game winner this season as the Devil Rays routed Boston.

Sturtze (10-12) is just the third Tampa Bay pitcher to record double-digit wins, joining Rolando Arrojo (1998) and Albie Lopez (2000).

The Devil Rays (58-98) have won six of eight as they try to avoid becoming the first AL team to lose 100 games since the 1996 Detroit Tigers (53-109).

Lou Merloni hit two solo homers for Boston, which has lost seven of nine and fell one game under .500. The Red Sox are 12-25 under manager Joe Kerrigan, who replaced Jimy Williams on Aug. 16.

Tampa Bay took a 6-1 lead in the third inning on two-run doubles by Toby Hall, Russ Johnson and Chris Gomez off David Cone (8-7).

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