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Mets Split Twinbill With D-Backs

first_imgNEW YORK — When told he was going to start the makeup of a May 23 rainout, Daisuke Matsuzaka said he was certain he could go deep into the game, throw maybe 100 pitches, even though he’s spent this season in the bullpen.He never mentioned anything about his hitting.The 33-year-old right-hander had success with both on May 25, pitching six solid innings and helping the offense-starved Mets with an RBI single as New York salvaged a doubleheader split with a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.“I’m pretty confident in my hitting so I just wanted to get a hit and get a run in,” the .185 career hitter coming in said through a translator. “I wanted to pitch as deep into the game as I could and today I was able — that was the least I could’ve done.”Bobby Abreu added a run-scoring double in a rare chance to play because Eric Young Jr. was held out with a tight right hamstring. He will be examined by a doctor before the Mets decide if the speedy outfielder needs to go on the disabled list.Outfielder Matt den Dekker is on his way to New York from Triple-A Las Vegas in case Young goes on the DL.The Diamondbacks used a miscue by Daniel Murphy in the ninth and turned a season high-tying five double plays for a 2-1 victory in the opener.Anthony Recker had a career high four hits. Pinch-hitter Ruben Tejada hit a tiebreaking single off Triple-A Reno callup Zeke Spruill (0-1) in the sixth inning for the Mets, who have won just three of 11 games.“We realize we’re not hitting, we’re not scoring runs. When you can win a game, when you can get a big hit — Ruben had a tremendous big hit for us — it’s a lift,” Manager Terry Collins said. “It’s nice to go into the next series with a W.”Murphy added an RBI single in the eighth for New York. Jenrry Mejia pitched the ninth for his third save after getting the loss in the opener. It’s the first time the converted starter pitched twice in a day and he is finally feeling like a closer.“Right now I feel pretty good. Let’s see how I feel (Monday),” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”The 33-year-old Matsuzaka (2-0) made 123 starts and one relief appearance in seven big league seasons before being called up by the Mets in mid-April.The longest of his 14 relief outings this season was 3 2-3 innings and 56 pitches. But he threw 98 pitched and allowed only three hits.Other than a three-batter sequence in the second when Aaron Hill led off with a single, Martin Prado got a favorable carom for an RBI triple and Cody Ross followed with a run-scoring groundout, Matsuzka was sharp. He struck out six, walked one and hit a batter.Matsuzaka got a run back for the Mets when he sent a broken-bat flare into left field in the second inning.“It tells you the kind of heart he’s got,” Collins said of Matsuzaka. “He knows we needed help.”After Lucas Duda and Chris Young each stranded six runners and grounded into a combined three double plays in the first game, Collins mixed up a lineup that was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the opener. They were 4-for-13 in the late game.The 40-year-old Abreu was making only his sixth start since coming up five weeks ago and he had two hits, driving in the tying run in the fifth with a double off Spruill, the Diamondbacks’ 26th man for the twin-bill.Tejada hit for Matsuzaka in the bottom of the sixth and had an RBI single.Spruill gave up 10 hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings. “He did well for us. … He gave us a chance to win,” Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said. “But we could mount no offense at all.”In the opener, the Diamondbacks broke a 1-all tie when Murphy dropped a throw at second base from David Wright, trying for an inning-ending forceout in the ninth.A.J. Pollock, who doubled off Mejia (4-1), scored when Murphy dropped Wright’s force attempt at second base on Chris Owings’ grounder to third base.Owings homered off Rafael Montero and Wright had an RBI single off Bronson Arroyo, both runs coming in the first.Addison Reed earned his 14th save.Montero and Arroyo impressed with differing styles. The 23-year-old Montero used a 91-92 mph fastball to strikeout 10 in his third big league start. The high-kicking, slow-pitching Arroyo induced four double plays — including inning-ending turns in the second, third and fourth innings to keep the game tied.Duda had the double play that hurt the most. With first and third, he hit a sharp grounder off Evan Marshall (2-0) to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who threw home. Catcher Miguel Montero made a perfect relay back to Goldschmidt at first base.Gibson said he lifted Arroyo after six innings because the 37-year-old right-hander had a tender elbow. “I’ll be fine. I’ll make my next start,” Arroyo said. “There’s times when you’re grinding through (stuff).”Hill had to leave the finale a couple of innings after he fouled a ball off his left ankle.“It blew up pretty big on him, the top of his ankle, so I had to get him out of there,” Gibson said. “I think it’ll be OK, but it’s pretty swollen up; he couldn’t hit.”(HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more


Mets Whitewash Braves, 5-0

first_imgATLANTA — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and the Atlanta Braves are running out of time and patience.“You’ve got to take it one at-bat at a time, one play at a time and hope for the best,” Simmons said after getting three of the Braves’ five hits in a 5-0 loss to the New York Mets on Sept. 19.“But it’s really frustrating right now,” he added.With their offensive woes showing no signs of a turnaround, the Braves were beaten by Zack Wheeler and the Mets.Atlanta dropped seven games behind Pittsburgh, a 4-2 winner over Milwaukee, in the NL wild-card race. Any combination of three Pirates wins or Braves losses will eliminate the Atlanta from playoff contention.The Braves dropped to 8-50 when scoring two runs or fewer.Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, and Wheeler pitched six scoreless innings for the Mets. Pittsburgh’s victory eliminated New York from postseason contention.The Braves, losers of six of seven, dropped to 4-12 this month. They won the NL East last year, but were eliminated from the division race on Sept. 16 when Washington celebrated at Turner Field.“You’ve got to keep playing and keep hanging on,” Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “(The players) know, and I don’t think you need to remind anybody what’s at stake and what we could accomplish if we start winning games and start swinging the bats.”Wheeler (11-10) allowed five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The Georgia native improved to 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 13 road starts, dating to May 29.Wheeler worked out of a jam in the fifth inning. He gave up a two-out double to Simmons and walked Freddie Freeman before striking out Justin Upton with a pitch in the dirt.“I got in a lot of deep counts but I did make the pitches when I had to,” Wheeler said. “I had to really bear down and really go after them. That’s a tough lineup right there.”Daniel Murphy went 4-for-5 and scored on Duda’s homer in the sixth. Murphy was hitting just .188 in 32 at-bats since returning from the disabled list on Sept. 9.Julio Teheran (13-13) pitched out of trouble in the fifth when Dilson Herrera popped up with runners on first and third, and Wheeler struck out.After Murphy’s ground-rule double in the sixth, Duda hit a low breaking ball into the right-field seats for his 28th homer, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Duda had struck out in his previous two at-bats.Teheran gave up seven hits, two runs and struck out six in seven innings. He dropped to 0-4 with a 2.67 ERA in September.“I made just one mistake that cost me two runs and cost us the game,” Teheran said. “That’s part of the luck that I have. You try not to let it affect you, but it’s kind of difficult for us right now.”Carlos Torres pitched the seventh, Jeurys Familia worked the eighth, and Buddy Carlyle finished in the ninth for New York.In the ninth, Herrera drew a bases-loaded walk from Jordan Walden to make it 3-0, and Eric Young Jr. added a two-run single off Luis Avilan for a 5-0 lead.(GEORGE HENRY)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more