Mets grab a win in side trip to Colorado

Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The New York Mets made the most of a scheduling inconvenience Thursday.
Marlon Byrd's two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Mets a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies as the teams made up a game that was snowed out April 17.
Byrd also threw out Michael Cuddyer as he tried to stretch a single into a double leading off the ninth.
The Mets originally were scheduled to fly home from Chicago after a two-game series with the White Sox that ended Wednesday night. Instead, they had to make a side trip to Denver before heading East.
Cuddyer set a Rockies franchise record by extending his hitting streak to 24 games, passing Dante Bichette, now the Rockies' hitting coach, who hit safely in 23 consecutive games in 1995.
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, who has been on his own impressive run, again pitched well, limiting the Mets to one run in six innings. However, Matt Belisle, who has struggled of late, gave up a one-out single in the eighth to Daniel Murphy, whose slow ground ball carried into center field when shortstop Jonathan Herrera collided with second baseman Josh Rutledge.
Byrd followed with his 12th homer, connecting on a 2-2 fastball on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. It was the fifth time in seven games Belisle has been scored upon. During that stretch, he has yielded 12 runs in 6 2/3 innings.
"It was a mistake fastball," Belisle said. "Up to that point, I felt very confident and in control of the (at-bat). I just elevated a heater. Maybe a few too many in a row. But mainly it was just the location."
Byrd's blast made a winner out of LaTroy Hawkins (3-1). The veteran pitched the seventh after starter Jeremy Hefner held the Rockies to two runs (one earned) in six innings.
Hefner finished June with a 1-1 record and a 1.80 ERA in five starts. Over his past 12 starts, he has compiled a 3.08 ERA.
"I knew that I can pitch this way," he said, "and my performance is finally matching up to the expectation. This doesn't surprise me, what I'm doing. I know I'm capable of doing this."
Both runs off Hefner came in the second. The rally began when Cuddyer led off with a single to left-center. He went to third on Wilin Rosario's double. Todd Helton hit a sacrifice fly.
Rosario moved to third on Nolan Arenado's grounder to third and scored when first baseman Zach Lutz threw wide of third, trying to get Rosario.
Cuddyer, who also had an infield single in the sixth, went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .351 overall and .390 (39-for-100) during his hitting streak. He led off the ninth with a single to right but was thrown out by Byrd trying to stretch the hit into a double.
"He's playing no-doubles (defense)," Cuddyer said of Byrd. "We're going up against their closer (Bobby Parnell). You take a shot to get into scoring position. If he doesn't make a perfect throw, I'm safe. You got to tip your hat to him. He made a great play, a good throw; it was the wrong decision."
Chatwood held the Mets hitless until Lutz singled in the fifth, following a leadoff walk. Juan Lagares' bunt single loaded the bases.
Third baseman Arenado fielded Anthony Recker's grounder and got a force out at home, but Recker beat catcher Rosario's throw to first.
The Mets scored on a fielder's choice. Hefner hit a grounder in the hole that Herrera fielded, but with the batter narrowly beating second baseman Rutledge's throw to first in an attempt to complete a double play.
NOTES: LHP Drew Pomeranz was scratched from a scheduled start Thursday with Triple-A Colorado Springs, paving the way for him to make his 2013 Rockies debut Sunday against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. He would replace RHP Juan Nicasio in the rotation. ... Mets manager Terry Collins rested 3B David Wright, who started every game this year except April 29 at Miami when he pinch-hit in the 13th inning. ... New York SS Ruben Tejada (right quadriceps strain) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Mets this weekend but would not be guaranteed his job when he is ready to return to the Mets because Omar Quintanilla has played so well. ... Rockies CF Dexter Fowler did not start for the second straight game due to soreness in his right wrist, which he aggravated taking a swing Tuesday. ... Colorado RHP Rafael Betancourt (right groin strain), who last pitched May 31, is scheduled to be activated Friday.