Andy LaRoche had three RBI and the Pittsburgh Pirates scored five runs in eighth inning to beat the visiting New York Mets, 8-5, last night.

Adam LaRoche and Jack Wilson had three hits apiece for Pittsburgh, which came back from a 5-0 deficit to win for only the second time in six games.

Wilson Valdez had two hits and a career-high three RBI for the Mets, who fell to 22-2 when leading after seven innings.

Carlos Beltran missed his second straight game for the Mets with a stomach virus. Beltran's backup, Angel Pagan, was also not available, because of a groin injury.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said the team is expected to place Pagan on the 15-day disabled list today when infielder Alex Cora is eligible to be activated from the DL.

"I expect that to be the case," Manuel said. "If that's the case, we'll play one guy short tonight and then we'll add Cora tomorrow."

In other games:

* At St. Louis, Laynce Nix had two RBI as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cardinals, 5-3. Reds righthander Edinson Volquez, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list after back spasms, left in the second inning with numbness in his hand.

* At Miami, Hanley Ramirez and Jeremy Hermida had RBI singles in Florida's five-run sixth inning and the Marlins rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-4.

* At Houston, Roy Oswalt (2-2) had a season-high eight strikeouts, Carlos Lee hit a two-run homer and the Astros defeated the Colorado Rockies, 4-1.

Noteworthy

* Federal prosecutors in San Francisco urged an appeals court to let them present evidence they say shows Barry Bonds knowingly used steroids, arguing it was mistakenly thrown out by a trial court judge on the eve of his perjury trial earlier this year.

Among the evidence that prosecutors say is key to their case are three urine samples they say belong to Bonds and tested positive for the steroids, methenolone and nandrolone. Prosecutors allege Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, collected the samples for testing at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the headquarters of a massive sports doping ring busted by federal investigators in 2003.

In February, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston banned evidence connected to Anderson because of his refusal to testify at Bonds' trial. Anderson has told the judge he would go to jail rather than testify.

Anderson spent more than a year in prison for previously refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Bonds.

Illston also barred an alleged "doping calendar" kept by Anderson, log books maintained at the lab and other evidence produced by the trainer. The judge said there's no way to prove the evidence is what the prosecutors say it is without Anderson's testimony.

Bonds has pleaded not guilty to lying to a federal grand jury investigating BALCO in December 2003 when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.

* Astros hitting coach Sean Berry, 43, returned to the clubhouse for the first time since surgery May 8 to remove a kidney with a cancerous tumor.

* St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse expects to make a start tomorrow after emerging from a bullpen session without pain in his right forearm. He was hit in the arm by a pitch on May 23.

In another matter, third baseman Troy Glaus, who had shoulder surgery in January, was cleared to resume baseball activities, although likely will not return until mid- to late July. *