Mets 10, Rockies 3, 1st game; Mets 4, Rockies 2, 2nd game

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DENVER (AP)—David Wright has always enjoyed the pressure that comes with the game on the line.

It showed Thursday night.

Wright hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning and the New York Mets completed a doubleheader sweep with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

New York won the opener 10-3 behind Kris Benson’s pitching and Mike Cameron’s four RBIs, then tied the second game on Eric Valent’s leadoff homer in the eighth inning against Tim Harikkala.

Richard Hidalgo opened the ninth with a popup behind the mound and reached first when Steve Reed (3-3) was charged with an error after colliding with shortstop Royce Clayton. That set up Wright, who sent a drive over the wall in left-center for his fifth homer since being called up from the minors five weeks ago.

“Hitting a home run is the best feeling in sports to begin with, but when you put on top of it it’s the game-winner, it’s what you dream about,” Wright said. “Anytime you come up with the game on the line and come through, you definitely get pumped up for it. I love being in those situations.”

After the teams labored through the first game in 3 hours, 26 minutes, Jeff Fassero and Al Leiter had things going at a brisk pace in the nightcap—until the lights went out. The game was delayed 13 minutes in the fourth inning after most of the lights around Coors Field went dark.

Fassero worked quickly and effectively before and after the break, allowing two hits in the first three innings before giving up a run on Hidalgo’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. Fassero didn’t yield much after that, leaving after allowing a run and four hits in six innings.

But Fassero’s outing wasn’t good enough with the way the Rockies played. Colorado managed just six hits in the nightcap and stranded 21 baserunners in the twinbill, losing for the fourth time in five games.

“We played like a club 13 games under .500,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We picked a bad day to have a bad day. We stunk the joint up tonight.”

Both of Colorado’s runs came on hard slides, and the second one touched a nerve with the Mets.

The first came in the fourth inning, when Matt Holliday slid into second baseman Joe McEwing to break up a potential inning-ending double play.

McEwing got up after that one, but wasn’t so lucky when J.D. Closser took him out in the sixth inning.

Shortstop Wilson Delgado made a nice play in the hole on Jorge Piedro’s chopper, but his throw was low and McEwing couldn’t get out of the way in time. The Mets didn’t like Closser’s slide, saying it was late and away from the bag, and reliever Braden Looper hit the rookie on the back of the leg in his next at-bat in the eighth inning.

Howe charged out of the dugout to argue with plate umpire Lance Barksdale after Looper was ejected and didn’t back down once the game was over.

“Sometimes things have to be taken care of on the field. We took care of it,” Howe said. “It was a quick hook. You have to take care of some business, you have to play the game. I thought we were going to be allowed to play the game.”

As for McEwing, he had to be helped from the field by New York’s trainers and was sent to a hospital for X-rays, not a good sign for the injury-plagued Mets.

New York placed right-hander Victor Zambrano on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day and lost reliever Mike DeJean in the eighth inning of the first game when he was hit on the shin by Aaron Miles’ liner. This for a team that’s already missing slugger Mike Piazza (knee), second baseman Jose Reyes (leg) and shortstop Kaz Matsui (back).

“It’s tough. We’ve got some of the big guys out of the lineup, then Joe Mac and Mike go down,” Wright said. “It’s tough, but you’ve got to find out what kind of team you are.”

Mike Stanton (1-5) worked the final 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Leiter gave the Mets a chance, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. He also walked five, but was able to work out of most of the trouble.

“He minimized the damage. That’s what he does well,” Howe said.

New York won the opener by roughing up Rockies starter Shawn Estes (13-5).

The Mets batted around against the left-hander in the first inning, capped by Cameron’s career-high 26th homer, a three-run shot to center.

Estes had difficulty keeping the ball down after that, allowing six runs and 10 hits in five innings. He lost for the first time since June 29 against Milwaukee and matched a season high with six walks.

“Some days are just like this. There are no excuses,” Estes said. “I didn’t make pitches when I had to.”

Benson (10-9) did a better job of working out of trouble, allowing three runs and seven hits in six solid innings. It was his second win in four starts with New York since being traded from Pittsburgh.

Notes

Cameron’s 26 homers match the team record for a center fielder, set by Tommie Agee in 1969. … Cameron stole second in the eighth inning of the first game, becoming the sixth Mets player to hit 20 homers and have 20 stolen bases in a season. … Hidalgo hit his 20th homer in the first game.

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