The New York Mets looked to bounce back after a tough extra innings loss on Friday night to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as Mets ace Jonathon Niese squared off against his Angels counterpart Jered Weaver.
It was another marathon but the Mets prevailed 7-6 in 13 innings. Niese went 7 1/3 innings allowing three runs on six hits, striking out five batters. Closer Jose Valverde blew his first save of the year, allowing a three run home run to Angels designated hitter Raul Ibañez to tie the game 6-6 in the bottom of the 9th. Mets catcher Anthony Recker blasted the game winning home run in the 13th giving the Mets a 7-6 victory.
Mets left fielder Eric Young Jr., led off the game with a walk and immediately stole second base. Second baseman Daniel Murphy grounded out to short for the first out, but Young advanced to third. Third baseman David Wright then flew out to left fielder Colin Cowgil, who threw out Young at the plate for the double play. Cowgil led off with an infield single against his former team. Angels superstar centerfielder Mike Trout grounded back to Mets southpaw Jonathon Niese for the first out but Cowgil advanced to second on the play. Angels first baseman Albert Pujols singled to left scoring Cowgil, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead. Second baseman Howie Kendrick then ground into a double play to end the inning.
Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson hit a ground ball to first for the first out of the second inning, and first baseman Ike Davis struck out for out number two. Lucas Duda, the Mets designated hitter, then smashed a home run to dead center tying the game at one. Center fielder Juan Lagares then lined out to left for the final out.
Neither the Mets nor Angels recorded a hit for the next inning and a half. Murphy grounded out to shortstop for the first out of the top of the fourth. David Wright and Curtis Granderson both walked putting runners at first and second. The Mets then attempted a double steal, but Wright was caught stealing at third for the second out. Ike Davis then flew out to end the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, Trout led off with a single to right. Albert Pujols then grounded to third advancing Trout to second. Howie Kendrick then followed with a ground ball to second, moving Trout to third with two outs. Niese then struck out third baseman David Freese for the final out of the fourth.
Jered Weaver then struck out the side in the top of the fifth inning. After shortstop Eric Aybar and Raul Ibañez flew out to center, catcher Chris Ianetta blasted a home run to dead center giving the Angels a 2-1 lead. Niese then struck out right fielder Kole Calhoun to end the fifth.
The Mets again went in order in the top of the sixth. Colin Cowgil smacked a home run to left center extending the Angels lead to 3-1. Trout then followed with a double off the center field wall. But Niese held the Angels in check, getting Pujols to pop out to catcher Anthony Recker in foul ground, struck out Kendrick and inducing a lazy fly ball to center by third baseman David Freese for the last out of the inning.
David Wright grounded out to third to start the seventh inning. Curtis Granderson followed with a walk. Duda then singled advancing Granderson to third, his and the Mets second hit of the night. Center fielder Juan Lagares then singled past shortstop Eric Aybar, scoring Granderson bringing the Mets to within a run. Angels’ starter Weaver was pulled from the game and replaced by Fernando Salas. Salas allowed a single to Anthony Recker, scoring both Duda and Lagares as the Mets grabbed their first lead of the night 4-3. Recker then shocked everyone by stealing second base. Shortstop Omar Quintanilla then struck out swinging for the final out.
After Eric Aybar walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh, Raul Ibañez hit a bullet that was snagged by Ike Davis, who then doubled Aybar off at first. Niese then induced a ground ball to third from Chris Ianetta for the last out.
Neither team scored in the eighth inning. Niese was taken out after getting Kole Calhoun to ground out to first. Carlos Torres came in and allowed an infield single to outfielder J.B. Shuck who pinch-hit for Cowgil. Torres then induced a groundball double play against the speedy Mike Trout to get out of the eighth.
Dane De La Rosa came in to pitch the ninth for Micahel Kohn, who pitched the eighth inning for the Angels. De La Rosa walked Ike Davis to start off the top of the inning. Duda flew out to left for the first out, but Juan Lagares singled up the middle, moving Davis to second. De La Rosa was pulled for Kevin Jepsen with still only one out. Jepsen then walked Recker to load the bases. Omar Quintanilla then singled to center bringing in Davis and Lagares furthering the Mets lead to 6-3. Eric Young Jr. was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Daniel Murphy struck out for the second out and David Wright flied to right ending the top of the ninth.
Mets closer Jose Valverde came on in the ninth inning to shut down the Angels. The veteran reliever was perfect in save opportunities going into Friday night’s game. Valverde got the first two outs very quickly, as Albert Pujols grounded out to shortstop and Howie Kendrick lined out to right. Valverde had David Freese down to his final strike before Freese singled up the middle. Eric Aybar walked, bringing Raul Ibañez to the plate. Ibañez then crushed a home run over the right field wall, tying the game at 6. Valverde blew his first save of the year. Ibañez had previously hit a tying home run against Valverde in the 2012 ALCS as a Yankee when Valverde was a member of the Detroit Tigers. Valverde then struck out Chris Ianetta to end the ninth inning.
Neither team would get a runner in scoring position for the next two innings. In the top of the 12th, Daniel Murphy lined out to center and David Wright grounded to third for the second out. Curtis Granderson then reached on an infield single off reliever Mike Shoemaker, who had replaced veteran reliever Joe Smith to start the 12th. Ike Davis and Duda then walked, loading the bases for Juan Lagares. Lagares then struck out swinging leaving the runners stranded.
Mets John Lannan came into the game for the 12th inning. The former starter turned reliever retired the heart of the Angels order 1-2-3. Anthony Recker led off the top of the 13th with a shot to left field, putting the Mets back on top 7-6. Omar Quintanilla then singled to right center looking to add on insurance runs. Young laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Quintanilla to second. Daniel Murphy struck out for the second out. The shortstop advanced over to third after a Shoemaker wild pitch, but David Wright failed to bring the runner home, flying out to right ending the inning.
Lannnan got the first two outs in the 13th, quickly. But after a long battle with Mike Trout, the lefty pitcher got the phenom to line out to Ike Davis to end the game.
The Mets look to take their second series on this road trip tomorrow with Bartolo Colon facing off against CJ Wilson for the Angels.
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