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Mets Take Chances, Flex Their Power

Baseball: Cedeno's steal of home and team's three home runs highlight 11-2 victory over Yankees.

June 30, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Roger Cedeno couldn't believe what he heard as he stood on third base. New York Met Manager Bobby Valentine was yelling at him to steal home.

Cedeno scored on a daring dash to the plate, and the rest of the Mets spent most of the afternoon trotting around the bases in Saturday's 11-2 victory over the New York Yankees.

"Bobby yelled, 'Roger, go!' " Cedeno said. "One guy whose voice I can recognize is Bobby's. I looked over at the dugout like, 'You sure?' I just took a chance. I'm glad it worked. You've got to make things happen."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first straight steal of home by the Mets since Tommie Agee did it July 31, 1971, against the Chicago Cubs.

Mo Vaughn, Mike Piazza and backup catcher Vance Wilson all homered as the Mets showed the Yankees they can play long ball too.

Behind a strong pitching performance from Al Leiter, the Mets evened this Subway Series at a game apiece and have won three of five against their crosstown rivals this season.

More important, the Mets avoided losing any more ground in the NL East, staying 9 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta.

"Right now, every win is big for us," said Jay Payton, who had three hits. "We've got to start winning as many games as we can and chip away at Atlanta."

Leiter (8-6) shut down the powerful Yankees, who lead the majors with 125 homers. He gave up a solo shot to Derek Jeter in the first but scattered only five other hits over seven sharp innings to lower his earned-run average to 2.95.

Wilson drove in two runs for the Mets. John Valentin, starting at second base to give Roberto Alomar a rest, had two runs batted in and turned two key 5-4-3 double plays.

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