NEW YORK (AP)—After starting in nearly 1,200 consecutive games, sitting in the dugout through the first seven innings was a new experience for Kaz Matsui.
The Mets shortstop was on the field at the end of the game, though, mobbed by happy teammates after his game-winning double in the 11th inning lifted New York to a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
“Mentally, it was relaxing, as well as physically, having a few innings off,” Matsui said through an interpreter.
Matsui, who had started 1,143 consecutive games in Japan and his first 30 with the Mets, entered as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and scored as New York rallied from a 5-3 deficit to tie it.
“I don’t know what it did for him,” Mets manager Art Howe said, “but it sure made the rest of us feel good.”
Ben Ford (1-1) walked Zeile with two outs in the 11th and then gave up an infield single to Karim Garcia before Matsui’s hit. Matsui has been in a slump recently, as his average slipped to under .235.
“I can’t say that’ll definitely take me out of a slump, but it’s a big thing for me to get a game-winning hit,” Matsui said.
Dan Wheeler (1-0), the sixth Mets pitcher, worked a perfect 11th for the win.
“It was right there for us to win,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “The runs we didn’t get (early in the game) came back to cost us.”
Pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton’s two-run single in the eighth tied it for the Mets after the Brewers went in front with three in the top of the inning.
Dave Burba, the fourth Brewers pitcher, issued two walks in the eighth and then balked the runners—Matsui and pitcher Jae Seo, both pinch running—into scoring position before Wigginton singled to right to score them and tie the game 5-5.
Pinch-hitter Brady Clark hit a two-run single, and Podsednik singled in another run to put the Brewers ahead 5-3. David Weathers walked Chad Moeller to load the bases and Clark, batting for pitcher Jeff Bennett, dropped a single into center to score Wes Helms and Ben Grieve to give the Brewers a 4-3 lead.
Podsednik’s bunt single off reliever Mike Stanton scored Moeller.
Trachsel allowed two runs—one earned—in six innings.
Milwaukee scored in the third on Geoff Jenkins’ RBI double after Craig Counsell singled and took second on a passed ball.
Eric Valent, leading off for the Mets in place of Matsui, homered in the first for his third of the season.
New York made it 2-0 in the second inning when Wilson doubled with one out and scored on Garcia’s single.
Santos allowed six hits and three runs in five innings, walking one andstriking out four.
Franco’s relief appearance gave him l,050 games in the majors, tying him with Kent Tekulve for fifth place among pitchers on the career list. … Podsednik’s stolen base in the fifth inning made him 18-for-18 in steal attempts this season, extending his Brewers club record. … Matsui was replaced by Joe McEwing at shortstop to start the game. McEwing moved to second base when Matsui came in at short in the ninth. … The Mets earned their sixthcome-from-behind victory.