Mets 4, Diamondbacks 1

Joe Saunders was breezing through a Mets lineup that came in

hitting .212 against left-handers when manager Kirk Gibson lifted

him for a righty after starting the seventh inning with a walk.

After getting an out, Esmerling Vasquez gave up a video

replay-aided two-run homer to Ike Davis that put New York ahead for

good in a 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday

night.

”It was my decision and it didn’t work out for us. I accept

that,” Gibson said of pulling Saunders.

Saunders had scattered just two hits and two walks before

walking David Wright to lead off the seventh. Gibson turned to a

bullpen that had not given up a run in 21 1-3 innings over six

games.

”He’s done a great job for us,” Saunders said of Vasquez.

”Tonight, he missed his spot and he paid for it.”

Vasquez (0-1) got the first out, but Davis hit a drive to

straightaway center field that appeared to hit above the orange

line on the black wall.

Wright scored and Davis stopped at second and waved his finger,

questioning if it were a home run.

After the umpires went off for 1 minute, 40 seconds, crew chief

Gerry Davis emerged from the tunnel under the third-base stands and

gave the homer sign.

”I wasn’t sure from where I was, I wasn’t sure,” Gibson said.

”But, you know if they go in and look at the replay and change it

that it must have been” a homer.

The homer set off an enthusiastic cheer from the bundled up

crowd on a 45-degree night that Gibson pregame dismissed as

”fun,” not cold.

The Diamondbacks had a chance to get an early lead against Mike

Pelfrey, who has struggled all season.

Chris Young hit a leadoff triple and Kelly Johnson walked. But

Pelfrey struck out Justin Upton, and got Stephen Drew to pop up to

second base and Miguel Montero to fly to left.

”We didn’t make very good use of our runners (tonight),”

Gibson said.

Pitching as the No. 1 starter in place of the injured Johan

Santana, Pelfrey was dreadful in his first four starts. He had a

9.72 ERA and hadn’t gone past 5 1-3 innings. But in a matchup

against a team he was 0-5 against, Pelfrey was in command. He gave

up just five hits and a run. He walked two and struck out four.

And Pelfrey was not feeling well.

”I didn’t feel great, that’s probably a big part of it. I

didn’t do too much,” said Pelfrey, who threw up, but swallowed it

while on the mound. ”While I was in he bullpen I said, ‘I’m just

going to throw strikes. I don’t feel great. We’re going to grind

through this and we’re going to get through it.”

Some green tea, warm water with honey, Pepto-Bismol – and a

solid dose of effective secondary pitches helped give Pelfrey (1-2)

his first win of the season.

The Mets added two unearned runs in the eighth thanks to errors

by reliever Juan Gutierrez and third baseman Ryan Roberts.

Jason Isringhausen worked a scoreless eighth and Francisco

Rodriguez finished for his third save.

Saunders came in with a 0-2 record and a 6.32 ERA this

season.

”In my two at-bats against him, he didn’t throw a ball over the

corner of the plate,” Davis said. ”He was just corner to corner

to corner. When a pitcher does that, you got to tip your cap.”

The Diamondbacks scored in the third when Johnson’s drive to

left-center was just out of Jason Pridie’s reach, landing for a

double. Upton followed with a double to shallow right that a

sliding Carlos Beltran could not reach for a run.

Beltran had an RBI single with the bases loaded in the eighth.

The Mets were 4 for 19 in that situation coming in.

Gerardo Parra made two athletic catches in left field to deny

the Mets hits and shortstop Drew made a diving grab of Wright’s

line drive in the first.

”The defense made some fabulous plays behind me,” Saunders

said.

Notes: Diamondbacks third-base coach Matt Williams, sidelined

with a broken foot since spring training, was out on the field

pregame practicing in the third base box. Bullpen coach Glenn

Sherlock has been filling in. … Reliever Joe Paterson got two

outs to extend his career-starting scoreless streak to eight games.

… Montero went 0 for 4 and didn’t reach base for the first time

this season.