Arizona suffers 17-1 loss to Mets

PHOENIX (AP) ‹ The New York Mets' fill-ins are starting to play like fixtures.

Ramon Castro, an everyday catcher because of Mike Piazza's broken hand, drove in a career-high five runs, and Mike Jacobs homered for the second time in three games since he was brought up from the minor leagues, leading the Mets over the Arizona Diamondbacks 14-1 on Tuesday night.

"We're playing great and we're playing hard," Castro said. "We never give up. We're a team, so we're playing together, and right now we're a winner."

The way Victor Zambrano pitched, the offensive outburst was pure overkill.

Zambrano (7-10) allowed six hits, including an RBI single by Luis Gonzalez, in eight innings as the Mets won for the sixth time in eight games.

Claudio Vargas (7-7) gave up eight runs and 10 hits in five innings for Arizona, which dropped to 6-14 in August.

"We haven't seen him pitch like that since he's been here," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said about Vargas, who was claimed off waivers on June 3 and promoted to the rotation June 21. "They squared some balls up. They had opportunities and came through and we didn't."

New York had 17 hits, tying its season high for a nine-inning game, and Zambrano went 2-for-5 at the plate.

Manager Willie Randolph declined to give the right-hander a vote of confidence.

Diaz and Reyes had RBI triples during a four-run second inning, the Mets made it 6-0 in the third and Jacobs boosted the lead to 8-1 in the fourth with a two-run homer.

"You look around the infield and you've got Wright at third, Reyes at short," said Jacobs. "I played with Reyes in 2000 at Kingsport, know what I mean? I don't think I've been on the same team with Wright, but just being in the system with him, I look at that infield and it's just young guys, and I think it's awesome."

Castro singled home the Mets' first run in the second, had an RBI grounder in the third and hit a three-run double that capped a six-run sixth inning.

"It was just not my day," Vargas said. "You know, I watched the video, and they hit me in good pitches. The changeup was a good pitch, and they hit it pretty good."