Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, August 19, 2001


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Agbayani ends Mets’ struggles

Star-Bulletin wire services

LOS ANGELES >> Benny Agbayani doesn't often get the chance to drive in runs with a fly ball.

But he found a way, hitting his first sacrifice fly of the season for the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the New York Mets defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 yesterday to snap a season-high seven-game losing streak.

"It's good news because I got the run in," Agbayani said. "When you get an opportunity to cash in runs like that, you've really got to concentrate. That's the way you win ballgames, by doing the little things to get the runs in -- especially with our team struggling the way we are."

Edgardo Alfonzo homered, drove in two runs and was called out at the plate on a controversial play that led to the ejection of Mets manager Bobby Valentine in the fifth inning.

Jerrod Riggan (1-2) pitched a perfect seventh inning for his first major league victory.

Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 30 opportunities.

Desi Relaford, who entered the game at third base for the injured Robin Ventura, greeted Mike Trombley (0-2) with a leadoff double in the eighth. Relaford took third on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's sacrifice after a walk to Todd Zeile and scored on Agbayani's sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers lost for the seventh time in nine games.

Brewers 6, Reds 5: At Cincinnati, Kevin Brown, playing his first major league game in nearly a year, homered twice as Milwaukee held on.

Brown, who last homered on Aug. 18, 1998, for Toronto against Oakland, hit Elmer Dessens' first pitch of the seventh inning over the left-field wall.

Rockies 8, Marlins 3: At Denver, Jose Ortiz homered for the fourth time in two games to help Denny Neagle win for the first time in nearly two months.

Ortiz, who homered in his last three at-bats on Friday night, delivered a three-run homer in the seventh inning.

Astros 3, Pirates 0: At Houston, Carlos Hernandez pitched seven shutout innings in his major league debut to lead the Houston Astros.

Hernandez, called up from Double-A Round Rock on Tuesday, replaced Shane Reynolds.

Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 3: At Phoenix, Randy Johnson set a franchise record with his eighth victory without a loss and Luis Gonzalez hit home run No. 46 as Arizona won its eighth in a row.

Padres 4, Expos 3: At San Diego, Mark Kotsay and Ray Lankford hit two-run homers in the sixth inning, lifting the Padres.

San Diego, shut out by Montreal on Friday, was held to three singles in the first five innings by Mike Thurman (6-9) before scoring four times in the sixth.

Cardinals 6, Phillies 3: At St. Louis, pinch hitter Miguel Cairo hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to lift the Cardinals to their 10th straight win.

Braves 3, Giants 1: At San Francisco, Barry Bonds' 54th home run gave San Francisco its only run in 71/3innings off Jason Marquis (3-4).

Chipper Jones hit a two-run double off Kirk Rueter (12-8) for the Braves, who have won the first two games of the three-game series between teams fighting for first place in their divisions.

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