Trachsel gets win, pitches in at plate

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets hardly missed Mike Piazza and

Cliff Floyd in their home opener.

Newcomers Kaz Matsui and Mike Cameron each drove in two runs,

Steve Trachsel was terrific on the mound and at the plate, and the

Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 10-6 Monday.

Todd Zeile added three hits as a makeshift lineup roughed up

former Mets pitcher Mike Hampton in building a surprising 10-0


"I think the guys that were in there feel that they can play,"

Zeile said. "I think it helps that even though some of our big

guns were down, nobody was hanging their heads."

New York played without Floyd, who was placed on the 15-day

disabled list with a strained right quadriceps after getting hurt

Sunday against the Expos in Puerto Rico.

Piazza was out of the lineup because of a sore right elbow

following a collision with Peter Bergeron at first base Sunday. And

the Mets already were without second baseman Jose Reyes, on the DL

with a strained right hamstring, and right fielder Karim Garcia,

day to day with a broken left ring finger.

That left Ricky Gutierrez, Shane Spencer and Zeile as the 2-3-4

hitters -- not exactly the players a sellout crowd of 53,666 hoped

to see when it showed up in a chilly drizzle.

But Mets fans were excited about the home debuts of Matsui and

Cameron, who came through along with the backups.

"I tell you what, I hadn't been that nervous since my first

at-bat my rookie year," Cameron said. "It was electrifying.

They're in every pitch.

"It was one of those special feelings -- what I'd been looking

forward to since I signed."

J.D. Drew homered and Johnny Estrada hit a three-run shot in the

eighth inning -- the first for each as a member of the Braves -- but

it was too late.

Hampton (0-1) was knocked out in the third and booed as he

walked off the mound with his head down. Fans at Shea Stadium

haven't forgiven him for leaving town as a free agent after helping

the Mets reach the 2000 World Series.

"That doesn't bother me," Hampton said. "They're fans and

they're rooting for their team."

The left-hander threw 80 pitches in 2 2-3 innings, giving up

seven runs and nine hits.

"I made mistakes and I paid for it," he said.

Trachsel (1-1), hit hard in an 18-10 loss at Atlanta in his

first start, was much better this time. He allowed one run and four

hits in six innings, and also drove in two runs.

"His splitter was working well. He kept pitches down," Braves

slugger Andruw Jones said.

Atlanta scored once in the ninth on pinch-hitter Eddie Perez's

RBI single, but Braden Looper came in and got Jones to ground into

a game-ending double play with the bases loaded for his second save

in two days.

"It's definitely a confidence booster -- first game in New York

-- and this whole game is confidence," Looper said.

The Mets jumped ahead on Cameron's two-out, RBI single in the

first. Trachsel hit a run-scoring double down the third-base line

in the second, and Gutierrez added an RBI groundout.

Hampton walked Joe McEwing with the bases loaded in the third,

Trachsel had an RBI grounder and Matsui, the newcomer from Japan,

broke it open with a two-run double.

"It was amazing. The crowd was really into it. I was really

nervous at first but it was really fun," Matsui said through a

translator. "I almost had goosebumps all over."

Cameron drove in a run with a double to deep center in the

fourth, and Jason Phillips followed with an RBI single.

Spencer added an RBI double in the fifth.

"It's a good thing we put 10 on the board," Cameron said.

The Braves were missing three injured regulars themselves: left

fielder Chipper Jones (strained right hamstring), shortstop Rafael

Furcal (strained lower back) and first baseman Adam LaRoche (sore


Manager Bobby Cox hopes all three can return to the lineup


"It was just an awful day," Andruw Jones said.Game notes
Drew came out for a pinch-hitter in the ninth after

tweaking his left hamstring on a flyball the inning before. He said

he didn't think it was serious. ... Hampton fell to 7-9 against the

Mets. ... Floyd will head to the team's spring training complex in

Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday to begin a rehabilitation program.

... The Mets improved to 27-16 in home openers, including 27-14 at

Shea Stadium. They dropped their first two at the Polo Grounds in

1962 and '63. ... This season marks Shea Stadium's 40th

anniversary. ... The Mets honored New York's 1969-70 championship

teams before the game. Ceremonial first pitches were thrown by

former Mets Tom Seaver and Jerry Grote, Knicks greats Walt Frazier

and Willis Reed, and ex-Jets running back Emerson Boozer. ...

Before the game, Cameron received the Gold Glove he won last season

with Seattle. ... The Mets lost their Shea Stadium opener 15-2 to

the Cubs last year.