Sports

Mets Almost Sqaunder Win, But Take It In Extras

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DENVER, CO - APRIL 29: David Wright #5 of the New York Mets is welcomed back to the dugout after he scored the game winning run on a single by Ike Davis #29 of the New York Mets in the 11th inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Mets defeated the Rockies 6-5 in 11 innings. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – APRIL 29: David Wright #5 of the New York Mets is welcomed back to the dugout after he scored the game winning run on a single by Ike Davis #29 of the New York Mets in the 11th inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Mets defeated the Rockies 6-5 in 11 innings. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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DENVER (AP) _ The Colorado Rockies played long ball late in
rallying to tie it twice. The New York Mets managed to prevail
because of a hard grounder by Ike Davis that happened to find the
hole between third and shortstop.

Davis singled in the go-ahead run off reliever Matt Belisle in
the 11th inning and the Mets overcame two tying homers allowed by
their bullpen to beat the Rockies 6-5 on Sunday.

“It was tough to see. The shadows were pretty bad at that point
and the first fastball, he just blew it by me,” Davis said. “I
was like, `Oh boy, got to shorten up a little bit.’ I put it on the
ground and I knew it had a good chance if it didn’t hit anybody. It
happened to find a hole.”

Mets ace Johan Santana, looking for his first win since
September 2010, left with a 4-0 lead after six innings but
left-hander Tim Byrdak gave up pinch-hitter Todd Helton’s grand
slam in the eighth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis put the Mets ahead again with
an RBI double in the 10th before Frank Francisco served up Carlos
Gonzalez’s solo homer in the bottom half.

David Wright started the 11th with a single off Belisle (1-2)
and went to third on Lucas Duda’s single. After Scott Hairston hit
into a fielder’s choice, Davis’ sharp grounder finally rescued the
Mets.

“There were some very positive things on a day when we should
have won this game a lot easier than we did,” said a relieved
Terry Collins, the Mets’ manager.

Ramon Ramirez got his first save of the season, holding onto a
lead after Byrdak and Francisco (1-1) couldn’t.

Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter singled off Belisle in the 10th and
scored when Nieuwenhuis followed with an opposite-field double to
left.
“It was a wild game and a wild series,” Baxter said after the
Mets took two of three. “Every game here was pretty crazy. But
it’s a great win. It’s obviously early in the season, but this is
something we can look back on and definitely grow from as a
group.”

Dexter Fowler hit a one-out single off Jon Rauch to get the
Rockies’ eighth-inning rally started. Gonzalez drew a walk and Troy
Tulowitzki grounded out before Michael Cuddyer walked to load the
bases.

Byrdak came in to face Helton, who worked the count to 2-2
before driving an 84 mph slider off the facing of the second deck
above the right-field wall, bringing the crowd to its feet with a
roar.

“I was looking for it and got it,” Helton said. “I was
concerned about chasing up and I was hoping he’d throw me that
pitch in that situation.”

A pumped-up Helton flipped his bat as he began his trot and
slapped hands with a gaggle of teammates around home plate before
emerging from the dugout moments later to take a curtain call.

It was the second pinch-hit homer of Helton’s career and his
sixth grand slam.

“It was an up-and-down game,” Helton said. “Santana looked
like he was throwing the ball really well. To get back into that
game was big, but they just kept battling. They didn’t quit.”

Helton’s slam was the second by the Rockies in the series. Ramon
Hernandez also hit one in Friday night’s 18-9 win.

“But he tied the game. He didn’t put them ahead,” Collins
said. “So we still had a chance. We still had life and we came
back and we fought hard.”

Santana, who missed last season after undergoing shoulder
surgery, gave up two hits, walked three and struck out five.

“Overall, I felt good. I made my adjustments and competed,”
Santana said. “We won and that’s all I care about.”

Starting for the first time at Coors Field, Santana still has
not given up an earned run to the Rockies in 22 innings over three
career starts.

Rockies starter Jamie Moyer went five innings and gave up four
runs on 11 hits, including Josh Thole’s two-out solo homer in the
fifth.

The Mets scored three runs in the first, the first time New York
scored while Santana was in the game during any of his five starts
this season.

The sequence was punctuated by Wright’s two-run double and an
RBI single by Hairston, though Moyer managed to wriggle out of a
one-out bases loaded jam by fanning Thole and retiring Santana on a
fly ball.

“I think we do a pretty good job of bouncing back,” Helton
said. “It was a tough loss, but we’ll be fine tomorrow.”

NOTES: New Broncos QB Peyton Manning visited both the Mets and
Rockies clubhouses before the game. Manning is a friend of Mets
pitcher R.A. Dickey and is close with Helton, who was the backup
quarterback to Manning when they were both in college at Tennessee.
… CF Andres Torres (strained left calf) completed his minor
league rehab assignment and was set to join the Mets in Houston,
where it’s expected he’ll be activated from the 15-day disabled
list Monday. The team said it will option INF Zach Lutz to Triple-A
Buffalo to make room for Torres. … Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz,
who left his start Friday after four innings because of tightness
in his left forearm, is on course to make his next scheduled start
Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. … Juan Nicasio (1-0)
is slated to pitch the series opener against Aaron Harang (1-1) and
the Dodgers on Monday as the Rockies continue their nine-game
homestand at Coors Field. … Dickey (2-1) goes for the Mets in the
series opener at Houston against Bud Norris (1-1).

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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