DENVER (AP)—Chris Stynes wanted to stay relaxed when he came to the plate in a key spot in the eighth inning.
Stynes did just that, hitting a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and Larry Walker hit a two-run single in a five-run fifth to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-5 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday.
“The skipper (Clint Hurdle) has talked to us a lot over the last two weeks about not having any problems with our intensity and playing too hard,” Stynes said. “In fact we have been playing too hard and sometimes we have to relax and not try too hard.
“You have to stay within yourself in certain situations and not let it bother you too much,” Stynes said.
Charles Johnson started the go-ahead rally with a walk in the eighth inning against Mike Stanton (2-3). One out later, pinch-runner Gabe Kapler moved to second on a wild pitch. Stynes then singled to left with two outs to give the Rockies the lead.
“Chris is a player that doesn’t need to be reminded he has to perform,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s a guy who plays until he’s told the game is over.”
Mets relievers have 11 of the team’s 23 losses this season, tied with San Diego for the most in the majors.
“It was a slider I wanted down and in for a ball and I kind of threw a strike,” Stanton said. “In that situation with an open base there is really no room for error. I just didn’t execute the pitch.”
One day after rallying from seven runs down to win, Colorado fell behind 2-0 in the first inning on Mike Piazza’s third homer in the past two days.
“I hate to say we’re snake bit,” Piazza said. “But again, we made a couple of mistakes last night and today and it’s frustrating.”
Stynes hit an RBI groundout and scored on Jay Payton’s triple to right field. After walks to Todd Helton and Preston Wilson, Walker hit a two-run single to center. Wilson scored from first on the play on a throwing error by center fielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo.
“You can’t blame Shinjo for not making that catch,” Hurdle said. “Walker has a big swing and big swings have a way of putting outfielders back on their heels.”
Reed got one out for the win and Jose Jimenez worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save.
Oliver gave up three runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings as the Rockies took two of three from the Mets.
“We contributed today to their success,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “Huge error with men on base. That was the difference in the ball game.”
After a double by Raul Gonzalez in the first, Piazza hit his 343rd homer as a catcher—eight shy of Carlton Fisk’s major league record.
Seo gave up five runs and 10 hits in seven innings.
Mets 1B Mo Vaughn, on the DL since May 3 with inflammation in his left knee, will miss the remainder of the road trip and seek the medical opinion of two additional doctors this week. … Mets INF Jay Bell was held out of a second straight game with a strained right groin. … Mets OF Cliff Floyd was ejected in the sixth inning after arguing a called third strike with umpire Bruce Froemming. … Wilson has an 11-game hitting streak. … LHP Denny Neagle, on the DL since opening day with tightness in his left elbow, will makea rehab start Friday for Triple-A Colorado Springs.