Mets 5, Rockies 4
NEW YORK (AP)—Ty Wigginton pumped his fist after sending a pitch to deep left field. He knew it was gone the moment he hit it—sort of.
“I thought so, but I’ve been wrong in this park many times before,” Wigginton said with a smile. “That wouldn’t have been good if they caught that one.”
The ball landed well over the wall and in the bullpen for a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to rally the New York Mets past the Colorado Rockies 5-4 Saturday night—their third late-inning comeback this week.
“Any time you hit a home run like that, you’ve got to feel good about it,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “I know I didn’t do it very often.”
The Mets scored three runs in the first inning, highlighted by Kaz Matsui’s fourth leadoff homer of the season, but fell behind 4-3 before coming back against Vladimir Nunez (3-2) in the eighth to move one-game under .500 (21-22).
“I was sitting on that pitch from the beginning of the at-bat,” said Wigginton, who hit his fourth homer.
“It came back to the middle of the plate,” Nunez said. “I don’t know what to do about it now. I wanted to hit the outside corner.”
The loss was the Rockies’ fourth straight, tying a season high. It was also the first time in eight games that Colorado lost when they were leading through seven innings.
“There’s all kinds of bruises and black marks on my scorecard, and sometimes those things add up to a loss,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
“That’s what makes the game fun,” Looper said. “One hit, now we’re winning and then I’m in the game.”
Trailing 3-2, the Rockies took the lead on Jeromy Burnitz’s two-run triple in the fifth.
Royce Clayton hit a leadoff single and, one out later, Vinny Castilla was hit in the back by a pitch from Tyler Yates. Burnitz followed with a liner that got past a diving Phillips at first base and rolled into the right-field corner.
“We all understand our jobs, regardless of when we come in,” Wheeler said of the Mets’ busy bullpen. “We want to keep the score right where it is, especially if we’re behind, and give the offense a chance to come back. That worked out for us tonight.”
Yates allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings. He was recalled after Friday night’s game and started in place of Al Leiter, who went on the disabled list Thursday because of left shoulder tendinitis.
Cook allowed three runs and five hits in five innings in his second start of the season, and helped himself with an RBI single.
Matsui got the Mets off to a quick start, hitting a 3-2 pitch from Cook into the right-field bullpen. It was Matsui’s fourth home run of the season—all leading off—and tied the team record for most leadoff homers in a season, set by Tommie Agee in 1969.
“He’s after Rickey Henderson,” Howe quipped. “He has a little ways to go, though.”
After Danny Garcia was hit by a pitch and Cliff Floyd walked, Mike Piazza hit a hard grounder to second that hit off Luis Gonzalez’s glove and went into shallow right field, allowing Garcia to score on the error.
Phillips singled one out later to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.
Johnson led off the third with his ninth home run, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Cook made it 3-2 in the fourth with an RBI single—the fifth RBI of his career.
The Rockies fell to 6-14 away from home, and are 0-7 in road series.
“You can focus wherever you want, but it’s a team loss,” Hurdle said. Wearen’t good enough to do the things we did tonight and win.”
Burnitz had a scary moment in the second when he was hit in the back of his helmet by a pitch from Yates. After staying on the ground for a few moments, the former Met got up, went to first and was caught trying to steal second a few pitches later. Burnitz was OK and remained in the game. … Mets 2B Jose Reyes, sidelined since March with a strained right hamstring, played seven innings in a rehab game at St. Lucie and went 3-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. … Rockies 1B Todd Helton sat out for the secondstraight game because of a sore back.
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