The New York Mets lost their fourth straight game on Friday night, falling to the San Francisco Giants 4-2 at AT&T Park. It was a pitcher’s duel throughout the game, with Mets lefty ace Jonathon Niese allowing two runs in seven innings, while Giants starter Matt Cain did the same. Cain was perfect through the first four innings, not allowing a hit until the sixth, an infield single to Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. Cain faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings. For the fourth straight game, the Mets bullpen could not hold a lead.
Giants catcher Buster Posey was the star of the game, going 3-4 including the go-ahead 2 run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Veteran reliever Carlos Torres took the loss for the Mets dropping to 2-3 while Giants veteran reliever Jeremy Affeldt picked up the win to even his record to 1-1. Giants closer Sergio Romo notched his 19th save.
After both starters dominated in the first four and a half innings, the Giants finally struck in the bottom of the fifth. Left fielder Juan Perez led off with a ground out to third for the first out. Second baseman Brandon Hicks then blasted a pitch to the deepest part of the park in left center. Mets centerfielder Matt den Dekker galloped from shallow center but the ball just fell beyond his glove and Hicks raced to third with a triple. Shortstop Brandon Crawford then skied a fly ball to left. Mets left fielder Andrew Brown caught the ball and hurled it towards home. The ball hit Hicks running down the third base line, and Hicks was safe at home, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. On the next pitch Jonathon Niese bounced a pitch near Matt Cain’s feet. Giants manager Bruce Bochey challenged and upon further review it appeared the pitch hit Cain’s foot and Cain was awarded first base. Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan then grounded to third and Mets third baseman David Wright threw to second to force Cain out to end the inning. The Mets failed to score in the top of the sixth while the Giants were retired in order in the bottom half of the sixth.
Matt den Dekker led off the top of the seventh with a double down the left field line. Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy then golfed a pitch that just barely went over the wall in right field for a home run, as the Mets took a 2-1 lead. Wright then grounded out to third, right fielder Curtis Granderson flied out to right, and Andrew Brown grounded back to the pitcher to retire the side.
In the bottom of the seventh first baseman Michael Morse grounded out to third to lead off. Juan Perez then struck out swinging, but Brandon Hicks followed with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Niese. Brandon Crawford then lined a single to center scoring Hicks to tie the game 2-2. Joaquin Arias then pinch-hit for Matt Cain and flied out to center to end the inning. The Mets again failed to score in the top of the eighth.
Carlos Torres entered to pitch the bottom of the eighth for the Mets and Chris Young took over in left replacing Brown as part of a double switch. Angel Pagan led off with a walk, and moved to second on a ground ball to Daniel Murphy from right fielder Hunter Pence. Buster Posey then launched a shot to left center for a home run as the Giants retook the lead 4-2. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval flied out to left, but Michael Morse reached on an infield single to second. Juan Perez then doubled down the right field line, moving Morse to third. But Brandon Hicks struck out swinging to end the inning. The Mets went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to end the game.
The Mets look to avoid their fifth straight loss tomorrow night, when veteran starter Bartolo Colon takes the mound against fellow veteran starter Tim Hudson for the Giants.
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