NEW YORK (AP) - 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.
The Associated Press News Service
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