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Rockies score 11 in fifth to blast Mets, 18-9

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Scott Hairston hit for the cycle Friday night for the New York Mets, a notable achievement that was virtually obscured by an offensive barrage by the Colorado Rockies.

They blasted the Mets 18-9 at Coors Field, erupting for 11 runs in the fifth inning on their way to a season-high run total after the Mets had scored four times in the top of the inning to go ahead 6-2. The 11 runs allowed tied the Mets record for the most in an inning.

"You play enough games here, you know innings like that are going to possibly take place," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But it happened pretty fast, obviously, and I didn't want to start burning out my bullpen in the fifth inning knowing that this thing could go a long way."

Carlos Gonzalez tied his career high with six RBI, setting a club record for RBI in an inning with five when he hit a three-run homer in that game-turning fifth. The Rockies fell one run shy of tying their club record of 12 in an inning, set in 2010.

It took 35 minutes to complete that half inning, during which Dexter Fowler, one of 15 men the Rockies sent to the plate, hit a three-run homer and starter Chris Schwinden, Manny Acosta and Miguel Batista combined to throw 51 pitches.

The Rockies also got a grand slam from Ramon Hernandez in a five-run seventh and a two-run homer by Troy Tulowitzki in the first. The Mets made six errors, four in the fifth, which began rather innocently.

Pinch hitter Eric Young Jr. hit a comebacker to Schwinden, dashed toward first and made a headfirst slide to the base to beat Schwinden's high throw.

"Just a phenomenal offensive game that began in the fifth inning with an extraordinary hustle play by Eric Young Jr.," manager Jim Tracy said. "How many guys do you see hit a comebacker to the pitcher and go to first base full out to give yourself even a chance to put yourself in position when the pitcher makes a high throw to the first baseman?"

Young doesn't play defense well enough to have a regular position. But after reaching base, he has used his exceptional speed several times to ignite the Rockies and has given the Rockies an unusual weapon off their bench.

"Every time I hit the ball, I got to run hard," Young said. "That's the right way to play the game. I think it's a blessing to play this game, and for as long as my body will let me play, I think it's only right to play it as hard as I can."

Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz left after four innings with tightness in his left forearm. He said he felt the tightness warming up for the fourth, when he gave up a homer to Hairston -- his cycle went single, homer, triple, double and strikeout in five at-bats -- as well as a walk and hit a batter.

Pomeranz said the tightness did not increase during the inning, and he did not expect to be placed on the disabled list.

"If it was something serious, I wouldn't have been able to pitch that inning and get people out," he said.

Hairston, who had plenty of experience at Coors Field from his time with the Padres, called it "one of the craziest games I've ever been a part of."

Schwinden, making his first start this year for the Mets, held the Rockies scoreless on two singles in the second, third and fourth and took the mound in the fifth with a four-run lead after the Mets unloaded six hits and four runs on Esmil Rogers. The lead was short-lived after the Rockies battered Schwinden and Acosta, who retired just one of the eight batters he faced while yielding seven runs.

NOTES: Rockies pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Monday with a right shoulder sprain. He fell off his bike while riding to Coors Field on Friday. Guillermo Moscoso will be recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start against the Mets on Saturday. Moscoso is 1-3 with a 7.91 ERA in four starts for Colorado Springs and was acquired from the A's in January in the deal for outfielder Seth Smith. ... Jonathan Herrera started at third base for the Rockies in place of Chris Nelson, whose wrist was still sore from diving for a ball in the third inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader Wednesday at Pittsburgh. Nelson went 0-for-13 on the road trip to Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Herrera also batted second as Fowler was dropped from that spot to eighth. The switch-hitting Fowler entered Friday hitting .222 (12-for-54) with a .311 on-base percentage and a team-leading 15 strikeouts. ... Rockies left-handed reliever Josh Outman (right oblique strain) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Saturday and pitch one inning for high Class A Modesto. Outman had the Opening Day roster made when he came down with food poisoning and strained his oblique while violently vomiting. ... Mets starter Mike Pelfrey will see noted orthopedist James Andrews on Monday in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Pelfrey has a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is facing Tommy John surgery. ... Mets center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis lived in the Denver area from seventh grade through high school. Before Friday, he had only played at Coors Field as a senior at Denver Christian High School in an all-star game. "It might be different if I was making my (major league) debut here," Nieuwenhuis said. "That would be a whole other animal, but it'll definitely be a thrill." He led off the game with a single and scored on a rundown play between first and second. ... Chris Young, who is recovering from shoulder surgery May 16, 2011, is scheduled to throw a simulated game for the Mets on Monday at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. If that goes well, Young's next test will be May 5 at Port St. Lucie in a Florida State League game.
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