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Angels take one in extras vs. Mets

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hank Conger took some ribbing, both on the field and then in the clubhouse after the game.

The backup catcher was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 win over the New York Mets on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

Conger took the 2-2 fastball from Mets right-hander Jeurys Familia in the ribcage, just under his right arm. The radar gun measured the pitch at 98 mph, so naturally, teammates urged Conger to lift up his shirt for reporters to show them the baseball seam imprint on his side.

Conger declined.

"He's got good stuff," Conger said of Familia (0-2). "He was throwing his sinker down in the zone so I was trying to look for something up. But it was kind of coming toward me, so I tried to get in there and take one."

Designated hitter Raul Ibanez led off the 11th with a single and took second on a wild pitch. Third baseman David Freese followed with a grounder to shortstop, the ball hit slowly enough that Ibanez was able to take third. Freese was thrown out at first.

Familia then walked both second baseman Howie Kendrick and left fielder J.B. Shuck, loading the bases for Conger.

"Your options are pretty limited," Mets manager Terry Collins said when asked about walking both Kendrick and Shuck. "You either play the infield in and create a bunch of holes, or you try to set up some force plays.

"I know it's the big leagues and I know (Familia) is a young guy but he actually has been throwing the ball really well lately and I wasn't worried about him walking anybody. You've got to do what you've got to do, and that's try to get a force out at the plate. You're at the bottom of the lineup and Conger hasn't played a lot, so you play the cards."

Michael Kohn (1-0), the last of five Angels pitchers, pitched a scoreless 11th to earn the win. Left-handed starter Tyler Skaggs gave up four runs on nine hits in seven innings.

The Angels trailed 4-2 in the sixth inning when Shuck turned on an inside fastball from Mets starter Dillon Gee and hit it just inside the right-field foul pole for a two-run homer, tying the game at 4.

For Shuck, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday to replace the injured Josh Hamilton, the home run was a rarity. He entered the game with just two home runs in 570 career plate appearances.

The Angels had a good opportunity to take the lead in the eighth, when center fielder Mike Trout came to the plate with runners on first and third and two out. Collins brought in right-hander Kyle Farnsworth, who walked Trout to load the bases.

Farnsworth and the Mets got out of the jam, though, when first baseman Albert Pujols grounded out to third to end the inning.

The Mets bullpen went into the game having thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings, and they added 4 2/3 more scoreless innings Friday before Familia gave one up.

"They've done very well," Collins said. "But you know, when you go three nights in a row where your starters give you five (innings), you're going to burn your bullpen out."

Gee went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks.

Left fielder Eric Young Jr. led off the game with a single, went to third on a single by second baseman Daniel Murphy and scored when third baseman David Wright hit into a double play, giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

The Angels tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the first on center fielder Mike Trout's team-leading third homer. Kendrick doubled and scored on catcher Chris Iannetta's single in the second for a 2-1 Angels lead, but it didn't last long.

Catcher Travis d'Arnaud's solo homer in the third tied the game at 2, then first baseman Josh Satin's two-run double in the fourth put the Mets up 4-2.

NOTES: Mets LF Eric Young Jr. went into the game with five stolen bases, tied for second in the National League. All five steals had come in the previous three games, April 8, 9 and 10 at Atlanta. ... Angels RHP Dane De La Rosa was activated from the disabled list prior to the game. De La Rosa, who led all Angels pitchers with 75 appearances last year, had been on the disabled list all season because of a strained right forearm. LHP Nick Maronde was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room for De La Rosa.
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