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(Saturday, April 21st)
Final Score: New York 5, San Francisco 4
Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - In a ninth inning filled with mistakes, the San Francisco Giants made the last one and it gave the New York Mets a 5-4 victory in the second of a four-game set at Citi Field.
The Mets blew a three-run lead in the top of the ninth when center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis failed to catch a fly ball with two outs that allowed two runs to score.
Nieuwenhuis then came up with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the inning and hit a ground ball to first baseman Brandon Belt, who threw home for the force out. Buster Posey tried for the double play and the catcher's relay to first went wide of the bag, allowing Ruben Tejada to slide across with the winning run.
Posey's leg was clipped by New York's Scott Hairston coming from third on the force out and may have contributed to the poor throw. Giants manager Bruce Bochy briefly argued that Hairston was out of the baseline when he slid.
"People just put the ball in play and some crazy stuff happened," surmised Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. "That's baseball."
The Mets appeared on their way to a win in the top of the ninth with a 4-1 lead and closer Frank Francisco on the mound after starter Mike Pelfrey threw eight brilliant innings.
Posey started the inning with a single and Nate Schierholtz drew a one-out walk before Emmanuel Burriss chased in a run with a single, ending Francisco's chance at the save. Tim Byrdak fanned pinch hitter Hector Sanchez and Jon Rauch got Belt to hit a fly ball to shallow center field. Tejada went back from shortstop and gave up on the ball, but Nieuwenhuis came late from deep center and couldn't make the adjustment as it fell behind him for a double that allowed both runners to score and tie the game.
"That was a tough play, it was a very tough play. [Nieuwenhuis] was playing way back preventing no doubles, and then you have winds, and the high sky, and the sun and everything else. It happens," Rauch said.
Lucas Duda led off the home ninth against Clay Hensley (1-1) with a single to center and pinch runner Hairston took second on a bunt by Josh Thole. Tejada drew a walk and Justin Turner followed with a potential double-play grounder to shortstop. Burriss went to make the throw to second, but Aubrey Huff, who had moved over to second from first base when Belt pinch hit in the top of the inning, forgot to cover second and actually broke toward first. Burriss' hurried throw to first was then late, loading the bases to set the stage for Nieuwenhuis.
Tejada drove in three runs for the Mets, who bounced back from Friday's 10- inning loss and halted a three-game slide while stopping San Francisco's three-game win streak. Daniel Murphy stroked three hits and Ike Davis also knocked in a run in the victory.
Pelfrey was sensational, surrendering just a run on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Rauch (2-0) was credited with the victory.
Ryan Vogelsong went the first seven innings for the Giants and was touched for three runs on five hits with two walks and tied a career high with eight strikeouts.
Pablo Sandoval knocked in the first San Francisco run with a third-inning single and has hit safely in all 14 games this season. It's the second-longest hit streak to start a season in San Francisco history, behind only Willie Mays' 16-game run to start 1960.
In the third, Angel Pagan doubled after the first two batters were retired and Melky Cabrera drew a walk before Sandoval's single chased home the run.
New York tied it in the fifth when Duda worked a leadoff walk, raced to third on a single by Thole and scored the tying run on a fielder's choice grounder by Tejada.
The Mets broke a 1-1 deadlock with two runs in the seventh inning. Jason Bay led off with a single just under the outstretched glove of a diving Cabrera in left field and Duda drew a walk. Thole's sacrifice advanced the runners, although Vogelsong appeared to have a play at third on the bunt, and Tejada doubled just inside the bag at the third to chase home two.
New York tacked on an unearned run in the eighth against Javier Lopez when Murphy singled, took third on an error at first by Huff and scored on an infield hit by Davis. The Mets ran themselves out of a potential big inning when Davis was picked off at first by Posey, who then threw out David Wright trying to steal third.
Wright, who surpassed Mookie Wilson for the sixth-most games played in Mets history with 1,117, went 0-for-4 and had a 10-game hitting streak stopped. He had also reached base twice in each of the 10 games he had played, the longest stretch at the start of a season since Kenny Lofton did it in 12 straight games in 1999...Bay extended his hitting streak to seven straight games, as did Pagan...Posey went 2-for-4 and has 11 hits in his last 20 at-bats...The Mets also snapped a three-game home skid...Tim Lincecum, still looking for his first win of the season, is scheduled to start Sunday for San Francisco against Dillon Gee.
04/21 19:15:44 ET