Piazza Sends Maddux Home After a 9-1 Win

Published July 2nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, sending Greg Maddux to his quickest exit in four years with a 9-1 rout, before 44,593 fans at New York. 

Piazza has at least one hit in the past 19 games where he is averaging .367 with nine home runs, 20 runs scored and 32 RBIs in the streak. 

Derek Bell was 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs, and Benny Agbayani had a solo shot to back Al Leiter (10-1), who struck out a season-high 12 in seven innings. 

The popular and easy going Piazza said that when he steps onto the field "a switch goes on," making him a serious and driven competitor. 

Mets manager Bobby Valentine said, "He's really special. He is as good, if not the best, of all the hitters in the major leagues. It is harder to hit harder than he does. People are lucky here because they can get tickets just to see him play." 

He said Piazza was "a real strong person with an efficient swing," comparing his batting style with former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose, who has the major league record of 4,256 hits - (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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