Sheffield singles twice in return as Sullivan drives Mets with two triples

PHOENIX -- The West had not been kind to the New York Mets, until the Arizona Diamondbacks provided some getaway gifts on Wednesday.

Cory Sullivan tripled twice in his second game in the leadoff spot and made a nice defensive play in center to help the Mets beat the Diamondbacks 6-4 on Wednesday and avoid a three-game Arizona sweep.

Gary Sheffield, back in the New York lineup after missing six games with a sore hamstring, singled twice. Fernando Tatis singled three times for the Mets, driving in one run and scoring another.

The Mets scored twice on wild pitches and took advantage of other Arizona miscues to finish the trip 2-5 in just their fourth win in 14 games.

"That's what other teams do to us, take advantage of our mistakes," the Mets' David Wright said. "We were able to do that to them today. We took advantage of some of their mishaps and took advantage of some big pitches that they missed."

The Diamondbacks stranded 14 runners, 11 in the first five innings against Mets starter Oliver Perez.

Ravaged by injuries, the Mets got word during the game that first baseman Carlos Delgado had to stop his rehab work from hip surgery because of a strained oblique muscle.

Manager Jerry Manuel has stopped talking about the many injured players coming back. The Mets, who open an 11-game home stand Friday, are going to have to settle for what they have now.

"I thought at this time, at this road trip, that we would have a few guys back," Manuel said. "To go back home and not see anything on the horizon, we've just got to fight it out every day now. We've got to fight it out to the end."

Diamondbacks reliever Jon Rauch and manager A.J. Hinch were thrown out of the game by plate umpire Mike Everitt after the Mets scored twice with two outs in eighth to take the lead.

Rauch was livid over Everitt's strike zone, particularly on what he thought should have been a strike-three call to Luis Castillo that would have ended the inning.

"Mike, the home plate umpire, I thought he missed some calls," Rauch said. "He was pretty consistent the whole game, calling pitches a little bit off the plate, a little bit out of the zone maybe. And I felt he all of a sudden changed, and I wasn't too pleased with it."

As the 6-foot-10 Rauch charged the umpire, Hinch tried to come to his defense.

"My first priority was to get Rauch away from the umpire," Hinch said. "He's a big man. That's a lot of man to move around."

Rauch simply shoved Hinch aside and continued the confrontation.

"He really didn't hold me back too much," Rauch said of his manager, "and I went and apologized for manhandling him. I kind of let my emotions get the best of me there, but I had some things I thought needed to be said."

After Rauch left, Hinch continued to argue and was tossed for the second time in six games.

Omir Santos blocked the plate twice to prevent runs, first as Ryan Roberts slid home, then Mark Reynolds barreled over the Mets catcher.

After Arizona rallied to tie it on RBI singles by Josh Whitesell and Miguel Montero, Castillo's pinch-hit single off Rauch (2-1) brought in the go-ahead run, then Sullivan tripled to make it 5-3. A wild pitch by Arizona's Daniel Schlereth allowed a run in the ninth.

Pedro Feliciano (5-4) got two outs for the victory as the Mets finished their trip 2-5 in just their fourth win in 14 games. Francisco Rodriguez allowed Whitesell's second RBI single of the game, with two outs in the ninth, but fanned Montero for his 25th save.

One of Sheffield's hits came in New York's three-run sixth inning, which featured two wild pitches by Arizona's Jon Garland and a passed ball by catcher Chris Snyder on a strikeout.

Sheffield left the game for defensive purposes after being hit in the upper left arm by reliever Blaine Boyer in the seventh. Sheffield was not injured.

Game notes
Arizona RF Trent Oeltjen saved a run with a spectacular diving catch of Francoeur's liner in the first. ... The Mets announced they will install photographic imagery at Citi Field of famous moments in franchise history. They also will wear New York Giants throwback jerseys in a series against San Francisco this weekend. ... Arizona won the season series 5-2; Oliver Perez was the New York starter in both Mets victories.