Mets 2, Giants 0
NEW YORK (AP) _ Al Leiter struck out 12 while allowing two hits in eight innings, and Robin Ventura hit a go-ahead double in the eighth to lead the New York Mets over the San Francisco Giants 2-0 Sunday.
The Mets, swept in a four-game series at Pacific Bell Park earlier this year, will try to complete a four-game sweep at Shea Stadium on Monday night.
Leiter (13-5), who retired 19 consecutive batters after Ramon Martinez’s one-out single in the first, was dominating. He had to be, because Livan Hernandez (11-9) matched him through the first seven innings.
Leiter, who walked one, allowed just two other runners, on Jeff Kent’s single in the seventh and Rich Aurilia’s walk in the eighth. Leiter matched the Mets’ strikeout high this season, which he set against Atlanta on July 1.
John Franco pitched a hitless ninth for his fourth save in five chances, sealing the Mets’ fifth straight win.
New York handed the Giants just their third shutout of the season. Mets pitchers tied San Francisco for the NL lead with eight shutouts.
Edgardo Alfonzo walked leading off the eighth and, after Mike Piazza flied out, Ventura doubled to the fence in right-center. Alfonzo scored without a throw.
Ventura advanced on Benny Agbayani’s groundout, Lenny Harris was intentionally walked and Mike Bordick lofted a soft single to right, driving in another run and finishing Hernandez.
Hernandez, just 3-7 against the Mets, allowed seven hits and four walks in 7 2-3 innings. He retired 10 straight from the third until the seventh, Harris led off with a double.
Harris, who started at first base for the first time since Sept. 22, 1997, advanced on Bordick’s chopper to second, and Mets manager Bobby Valentine decided not to hit for Leiter, just 3-for-42 (.071) with no RBIs at the plate.
With the infield in, Hernandez worked from the stretch and started Leiter off with a pitchout. When the Mets didn’t squeeze, Hernandez went after Leiter and struck him out on a 3-2 pitch.
Darryl Hamilton worked out a walk after checking his swing on a 2-2 pitch, but Derek Bell field out.
Notes: It was Jewish Heritage Day at Shea Stadium, and ``Hatikva,″ Israel’s national anthem, was played before the game. During the seventh-inning stretch, a Yiddish recording of ``Take Me Out to the Ball Game″ was played, sung by Mandy Patinkin. ... Hernandez was 0-for-3 at the plate, stopping his five-game hitting streak. He had hit in 12 of his last 13 games coming in.