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Mets Greater Than Giants Again

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New York Mets relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, left, is greeted by catcher Josh Thole, right, at the end of their baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Friday, July 8, 2011. New York won the game 5-2. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

New York Mets relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, left, is greeted by catcher Josh Thole, right, at the end of their baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco, Friday, July 8, 2011. New York won the game 5-2. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston hit a
tiebreaking home run off All-Star closer Brian Wilson in the ninth
inning, leading the New York Mets past the San Francisco Giants 5-2
on Friday night.

Hairston opened the ninth by sending a full-count pitch from
Wilson (6-2) over the wall in left field for his fourth home run of
the season. Carlos Beltran and Nick Evans added RBIs in the inning
to help the Mets to their fifth victory in six games.

Nate Schierholtz tied the score in the sixth with a solo shot
into McCovey Cove and drove in San Francisco’s only other run with
a sacrifice fly.

Reliever Pedro Beato (2-1) earned the win, and Francisco
Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save.

Wilson kept his cool and refrained from tossing a water cooler
or smashing it with a baseball bat, as he did when he blew a save
at Detroit last week and went into meltdown mode. He was charged
with two runs and only recorded one out.

The victory was a big boost for a Mets team in the midst of what
could be a record of facing seven straight All-Star starters.

New York knuckleballer R.A. Dickey overcame tightness in his
left buttocks and a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right
foot to match Ryan Vogelsong, who was the second All-Star starting
pitcher to face the Mets in as many days. Both starters allowed two
runs in seven innings, and the few opportunities were a struggle.

After Beltran doubled leading off the fourth, Vogelsong walked
the bases loaded with one out. The right-hander rebounded to get
Josh Thole to ground into an inning-ending double play, and the
Giants didn’t waste the momentum.

Pablo Sandoval extended his career-best hitting streak to 19
games with a double off the wall in left to start the fourth. He
scored from third on Schierholtz’s sacrifice fly to center to give
San Francisco a 1-0 lead.

New York didn’t take long to answer.

Angel Pagan smacked a 1-0 pitch from Vogelsong over the brick
wall in right to put the Mets ahead 2-1 in the fifth. The home run
was Pagan’s third this season, and only the second Vogelsong has
given up at home.

San Francisco kept pace with the long ball when Schierholtz hit
his first career home run into McCovey Cove to tie the score at 2
in the sixth. The homer was only the second splash shot of the
season and 57th ever by a Giants player, with 35 belonging to
all-time home run king Barry Bonds.

That was enough to keep Vogelsong’s unbeaten streak intact.

The journeyman turned ace hasn’t lost since allowing one run in
a 3-1 loss to Florida on May 26. He struck out two, walked five and
lowered his ERA to 2.17 _ fourth-best in the majors _ in his final
start before his first All-Star appearance.

NOTES: Mets 1B Ike Davis exercised on a treadmill the last two
days and felt good, manager Terry Collins said. Davis will decide
in the next week or so whether to try to return or have
season-ending surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left ankle,
which has sidelined him since May 11. … The Giants placed 2B Bill
Hall (left leg laceration) on the 15-DL and recalled SS Mike
Fontenot. … Announcers Al Michaels and Bob Costas called a
portion of the game for the MLB Network and made appearances on the
Mets and Giants broadcasts. It was the first time Michaels called a
major league game since 1995.

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

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