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Mets 4, Giants 3 (16 innings)

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Shortstop Brandon Crawford's two-out error in the top of the 16th inning allowed Eric Young Jr. to score the tiebreaking Monday night, and the New York Mets outlasted the San Francisco Giants 4-3 in the opener of a three-game series.

The battle of fourth-place teams began with Mets All-Star Matt Harvey seeking his eighth win and Giants former Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum seeking to avoid a 10th loss. It ended at 12:42 a.m. Tuesday at AT&T Park with the Mets winning for the first time in four games this season that have extended 15 or more innings.

The Giants, who stranded the bases loaded in the 13th and 15th innings, lost their seventh consecutive series opener. The marathon lasted 5 hours, 26 minutes.

Young got the decisive inning going for the Mets with a one-out single off the Giants' seventh pitcher, right-hander George Kontos (2-2). The New York leadoff man then stole second and went to third on Daniel Murphy's infield out.

After David Wright was intentionally walked by left-hander Javier Lopez, the usually sure-handed Crawford couldn't handle pinch hitter Anthony Recker's routine grounder to short, allowing the decisive run to score.

Right-hander Bobby Parnell survived an inning-opening walk to Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey's fifth hit of the night, a single, in the bottom of the 16th to record his 16th save.

The game ended when the Giants' last available non-starting pitcher, Guillermo Quiroz, grounded out with two men on base.

Left-hander Josh Edgin (1-1) got the win after pitching two innings, including the 15th, when he got Gregor Blanco to ground out to first base with two outs and the bases loaded.

The Giants, who outhit the Mets 14-9, stranded 18 baserunners in a game that featured 34 strikeouts.

Harvey's winless streak reached three games as he attempted to beef up his credentials in an effort to earn the starting assignment for the National League in the All-Star Game next Tuesday. Pitching in front of the Giants' Bruce Bochy, who will make the decision on the All-Star starter, Harvey got a no-decision after leaving in the eighth inning of a 3-3 game.

Despite his ace having thrown 107 pitches through six innings and clinging to a 3-2 lead, Mets manager Terry Collins let Harvey bat in the top of the seventh and ran him out there to pitch again in the bottom of the inning. Two pitches later, the game was tied.

Hunter Pence crushed Harvey's first pitch of the seventh off the concrete atop the brick wall in right-center field for a triple, missing a home run by a matter of inches. Following a video review that confirmed the call, Crawford sizzled a liner past Harvey's ear for a game-tying single.

Harvey finished the inning with the game tied and was replaced by right-hander Carlos Torres to start the eighth, having matched his season high with 121 pitches. Harvey allowed three runs on six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts.

Lincecum also didn't factor in the decision despite a season-best 11 strikeouts, the 33rd time he's reached double digits. He also went seven innings and gave up six hits and three runs -- all in the fifth and sixth. He walked one.

The Mets scored twice to take their first lead, 3-2, in the top of the sixth when the Giants' defense didn't do Lincecum any favors.

Murphy singled home Young with the tying run and later scored on Ike Davis' double-play grounder in an inning that saw Giants left fielder Andres Torres fail to hold Murphy's looper in a diving attempt, second baseman Scutaro throw wildly to first, an error that allowed Murphy to reach third, and center fielder Blanco miss Marlon Byrd's sinking liner, resulting in a triple.

Lincecum stranded Byrd on third by striking out Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

The Mets' first hit off Lincecum turned into the club's first run two batters later.

Byrd ended the no-hit bid leading off the fifth, grounding a single past diving third baseman Pablo Sandoval and into left field.

After a strikeout, Mets catcher John Buck belted a double to the fence in right-center field, easily scoring Byrd to get New York within 2-1.

With his team mired in a .192-hitting slump over its previous 16 games, Bochy made a rather radical change, moving Brandon Belt up four spots to the No. 3 slot.

Belt wasn't a factor in the Giants' two-run first inning other than hitting a fly to the wall in center field that was hauled in by Nieuwenhuis. Five pitches later, Posey took a Harvey fastball a little farther, clearing the fence in left field with his 13th home run. It scored Scutaro, who had singled.

NOTES: Collins announced before the game he'll use a four-man rotation at least through the All-Star break. That means Monday's starter, Harvey, is in line to start Saturday in Pittsburgh, giving him ample opportunity to be considered for the start in the All-Star Game in New York. ... Mets RHP Shaun Marcum flew from Milwaukee to St. Louis following Sunday's game to have his right hand and arm examined. Marcum complained of numbness and tingling in his pitching hand after Saturday's loss to the Brewers. ... Mets LHP Jon Niese had an MRI on his left shoulder in New York on Monday, and the results were encouraging. Encouraged that his partially torn rotator cuff is mending on its own, Niese will be sent to the Mets' camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to begin a rehab that could see him back in action sometime in August. ... Giants INF Joaquin Arias underwent an emergency appendectomy Sunday night and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday. He was replaced on the active roster by INF Nick Noonan, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno.
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