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Piazza Misses Second Straight Game

May 5, 2001

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Catcher Mike Piazza’s sore right hand kept him out of the New York Mets’ lineup for the second straight game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.

Piazza injured the hand Wednesday night when he hit it against the tip of Jeff Bagwell’s helmet while trying to throw out a runner in the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Houston Astros. It was originally thought Piazza hit the hand against Bagwell’s bat.

Piazza said the hand is still sore and slightly swollen. X-rays taken before Friday night’s game were negative, and Piazza said manager Bobby Valentine is just being cautious.

``I think we’ll just take it another day to be safe,″ Piazza said. ``I said I wanted to play, but he said we should take it another day.″

Piazza said he would be available to pinch-hit Saturday, and should be back in the starting lineup Sunday. He was replaced Saturday by Todd Pratt, who batted seventh. Pratt had a sixth-inning double, his first hit of the season, after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday night.

Piazza is hitting .400 with two home runs and five RBIs during the homestand.

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