Mets 7, Rockies 4
Milledge homered and tied a career high with three hits in New York’s 7-4 comeback win over Colorado after the club honored its last championship team on Saturday night.
“I was barely born when they actually won the World Series,” said Milledge, who watched the pregame ceremony recognizing the 1986 team on television in the Mets’ clubhouse. “But I lived through it through the highlights and stuff so it actually was like I was there. It pumped me up.”
Milledge singled home the tying run in the Mets’ six-run sixth inning, which featured four walks, two Rockies’ errors and a passed ball.
“We lost it defensively as a club,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “We had a lousy sixth inning, probably the worst we’ve had this season.”
Milledge homered in the eighth, his first since being recalled Aug. 1, and fourth of the year.
Atkins’ 21st homer of the season and 10th since the All-Star break put the Rockies ahead 4-0 in the top half of the sixth. His drive off Roberto Hernandez came after Mets starter Dave Williams left the game with leg cramps.
Williams was called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday night to make Saturday’s start in place of injured right-hander Pedro Martinez. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, and said he felt OK afterward.
The Mets rallied in the bottom half against Jeff Francis (9-10), who held them without a hit for 4 2-3 innings. Tucker led off with a base hit to center and advanced to third when Paul Lo Duca doubled with one out.
Carlos Beltran then drove in Tucker with a sacrifice fly and reached second when Matt Holliday dropped his fly ball. Carlos Delgado followed with an RBI single and Beltran scored on Torrealba’s passed ball to cut it to 4-3.
Milledge tied it two batters later with a run-scoring single. Francis then issued an intentional walk to Julio Franco before losing Tucker on a 3-1 pitch that put the Mets in front 5-4. Ramon Ramirez then entered and walked Reyes with the bases loaded.
“Any time you come back in a game like that you have to rely on taking a walk, battling and scratching and clawing and getting guys on base,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “We do that. We’ve done it a lot this year but for me we can do a better job at times of taking that approach.”
Ramirez finally got Lo Duca to fly out to the warning track to end the inning.
Francis gave up six runs, two earned, and five hits in 5 2-3 innings to get his first loss since July 29. He was 1-0 with two no-decisions and a 1.99 ERA in his previous three starts.
“I just couldn’t put out the fire,” Francis said. “The ball to Milledge was a mistake and he took it to right field.”
Aaron Heilman (2-4) pitched two scoreless innings and Billy Wagner worked the ninth for his 30th save in 35 chances. Wagner’s save was the 314th of his career, tying him with Robb Nen for 14th on the career list.
“Nice comeback win and it does kind of remind you of the ’86 team, the way they battled back and came at you every inning,” Randolph said. “A little bit of that rubbed off on us.”
The start of the game was delayed 34 minutes as the Mets held a ceremony on the field to honor their 1986 World Series championship team. Players and coaches walked through the stands, giving high-fives, before they were recognized on the field.
Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson and Howard Johnson got the loudest applause from the crowd, which chanted “Lenny! Lenny!” for Dykstra and thundered “Mookie!” when Wilson was introduced in the steady rain. The 1986 team won a club-record 108 games during the regular season and beat the Boston Red Sox in seven games in the World Series.
Beltran became the second fastest Mets player to reach 100 RBIs, accomplishing it in his 110th game. Mike Piazza reached 100 RBIs in his 103rd game in 2000. … Holliday singled in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. He has hit safely in 19 of his last 22 games. … The Mets played ’80s music and showed highlights from the 1986 season on the video scoreboard throughout the game as part of the tribute to the championship team. … The 1986 reunion helped attract a crowd of 55,085, New York’s eighth sellout of the season.