NEW YORK (AP) – Kris Benson pitched four-hit ball for eight economical innings and Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs, leading the New York Mets over the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 Sunday.

Carlos Beltran tripled, Cliff Floyd had an RBI double and Piazza had three hits as the Mets won for the sixth time in seven games and moved four over .500 (51-47) to match a season high. Los Angeles dropped to 7-13 in July.

Benson (7-3) didn’t allow a baserunner until Cesar Izturis bunted for a single with one out in the fourth, one batter after Benson took a shot off his right leg. That ball deflected to third baseman David Wright, who threw to first in time to record the 10th straight out.

Working at a deliberate pace, Benson scattered four singles – two didn’t make it out of the infield – and struck out five. His only walk came in the fourth, when the Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs.

But Benson ended that jam by getting Hee-Seop Choi to fly out to right field, just one of five outfield outs.

Piazza gave the Mets a 2-0 lead in the second with his 12th homer and third since the All-Star break, with all three eliciting curtain calls.

He was credited with an RBI single in the third when his hard-hit grounder took a high bounce off second baseman Jeff Kent’s chest, allowing Floyd to score and make it 4-0. Floyd had doubled off the outstretched glove of center fielder Milton Bradley after Beltran tripled over Bradley’s head.

Piazza added a single off Brad Penny in the fifth and is 11-for-26 (.423) against him for his career.

Penny (5-6) didn’t have any better success at Shea Stadium as a member of the Dodgers. He came in 1-6 with a 6.32 ERA in eight starts, all with Florida. On Sunday, he gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings. It was the first time he has allowed more than three runs in a start since June 10.

On Piazza’s single off diving shortstop Izturis’ glove in the fifth, Floyd was thrown out trying to score. Floyd hesitated rounding third, then ran over Mike Rose, but the 28-year-old rookie catcher, with Floyd on top of him, held the ball up for plate umpire Jim Reynolds to see.

Pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson’s two-run single off Scott Erickson in the eighth made it 6-0.

Notes: Rose threw out Jose Reyes trying to steal in the second inning. … Reyes’ streak of at least one steal in six straight games ended. … Wright has hit in 11 consecutive games.

AP-ES-07-24-05 1603EDT


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