Sports

Beltran Blasts Propel Mets to Win

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Carlos Beltran

By PAT GRAHAM  AP Sports Writer
DENVER (AP) _ Carlos Beltran hit a career-high three homers and
drove in six runs to help the New York Mets beat scuffling Ubaldo
Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies 9-5 on Thursday in a game delayed
more than two hours by rain.

Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and reached all
parts of the ballpark with his three two-run homers: straightaway
center in the first, deep left in the seventh and into the
right-field seats in the ninth.

The switch-hitting outfielder became the eighth Mets player to
hit three in a game, and first since Jose Reyes on Aug. 15, 2006,
at Philadelphia.

Reyes hit a two-run single in the fourth that chased Jimenez
(0-3) from the game and kept the Rockies ace searching for his
elusive first win of the season. He lasted just 3 2-3 innings in
his shortest stint of the season, surrendering five runs and three
hits while walking six.

With San Francisco beating Arizona earlier in the day, Colorado
fell out of at least a tie for the lead in the NL West for the
first time since April 5. The Rockies have now dropped six of their
last seven contests, including two of three against the Mets, a
team they swept in a four-game series at Citi Field last month.
Relying on his curveball, Jonathon Niese (2-4) was solid for 6
1-3 innings, allowing solo homers to Jonathan Herrera and Todd
Helton.

Niese was pulled with one out in the seventh as the lefty gave
up three straight singles, including a run-scoring liner up the
middle by pinch-hitter Alfredo Amezaga. Michael O’Connor came in
and allowed a two-run double to Seth Smith, cutting New York’s lead
to 7-5.

Former Rockies reliever Taylor Buchholz stopped the rally by
getting Troy Tulowitzki to line out to deep left with two outs and
two on.

Tulowitzki had been swinging a hot bat against the Mets, too _
five of his nine homers this season have been against New York
hurlers.

Jason Isringhausen pitched a rocky eighth, giving up a walk and
a single to begin the inning.

Dexter Fowler, sore left knee and all, bunted the runners into
scoring position. But Isringhausen settled down, striking out Jose
Morales and inducing pinch-hitter Jason Giambi to fly out to
center.

Beltran’s third homer of the game in the ninth gave the Mets a
four-run cushion, making Francisco Rodriguez’s appearance a
non-save situation.

The game was delayed for 2 hours, 10 minutes as a spring storm
moved through the area for a second straight day. The mixture of
rain and snow that fell Wednesday led to the finale of the
three-game series being pushed back 24 hours, keeping the Mets in
the Mile High City an extra night and leaving the team scrambling
to locate an extra night’s lodging as they switched hotels.

The Mets juggled around their lineup Thursday with first baseman
Ike Davis going on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained
left ankle and bone bruise _ the result of bumping into third
baseman David Wright as they corralled a popup.

Daniel Murphy, who has been playing second, moved to first, and
Justin Turner took over Murphy’s spot. Wright was given the
afternoon off to rest a sore neck and back. Willie Harris, who
started in his place at third, drew three walks, singled and scored
three runs.

It didn’t take long for the Mets to jump all over a struggling
Jimenez. After Harris walked, Beltran drove a 93-mph fastball to
deep center in the first.

Beltran was just getting started, crushing a pitch from Franklin
Morales into the bleachers in left and another off Matt Lindstrom
in the ninth, breaking Lindstrom’s streak of 13 scoreless innings.
This was the fifth time Beltran has homered from the left and
right side in a game as a member of the Mets, tying him with Todd
Hundley for the most in team history.

Jimenez has hardly been his All-Star self this season. His
blazing fastball has been very hittable and his pinpoint command
spotty, in part because of a bothersome cracked cuticle on his
pitching thumb.

Jimenez showed signs of getting back on track in his first
quality start of the season last Friday at San Francisco, but then
struggled against the Mets.

Notes: Rockies RHP Aaron Cook said the fractured finger on his
pitching hand was “all healed up” and that he anticipates making
a few starts at Double-A Tulsa and another at Triple-A Colorado
Springs before coming off the disabled list. … The Mets recalled
OF Fernando Martinez from Triple-A Buffalo to take Davis’ spot on
the roster.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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