By: JOE RESNICK
AP Baseball Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Anthony Recker led off the 13th inning with a home run against rookie Matt Shoemaker and also had a two-run single, leading the New York Mets to a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
The Mets evened up their interleague series at a game apiece, but it wasn’t easy. New closer Jose Valverde came on in the ninth to protect a 6-3 lead for Jonathon Niese, but allowed a three-run homer to 41-year-old Raul Ibanez on a 1-0 pitch after David Freese singled with two outs and Erick Aybar walked. The homer was Ibanez’s 302nd in the majors _ and his 2,000th hit.
Shoemaker (0-1), the eighth Angels pitcher, escaped his own bases-loaded jam in the 12th by striking out Juan Lagares. But Recker drove the right-hander’s second pitch of the 13th into the left field bullpen for his first homer of the season.
John Lannan (1-0) pitched two perfect innings for the victory.
Niese allowed three runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and a walk.
Omar Quintanilla, the Mets’ No.9 hitter, provided some temporary insurance in the ninth with a two-run single off Kevin Jepsen. But Valverde, who spent the previous four years in Detroit and lost his closer role to Joaquin Benoit toward the end of last season, ended up with his first blown save in three chances since signing with the Mets as a free agent in February.
Jered Weaver was charged with four runs, three hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings and struck out five. Lucas Duda’s two-out solo homer in the second was the Mets’ only hit against him until the seventh, Duda singled Curtis Granderson _ who walked _ to third with two outs. Lagares followed with an RBI single on Weaver’s 99th and final pitch.
Recker greeted Fernando Salas with a sinking liner to center field that bounced off Mike Trout’s glove as he attempted to make a diving catch. The hit gave the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Chris Iannetta homered for the Angels in the fifth, thwarted an attempted double steal and tagged out a runner at the plate to complete a double play started by left fielder Collin Cowgill _ who also homered against Niese, in the sixth.
NOTES: Valverde, who converted all 49 save chances in 2011 for the Tigers, was the 239th different pitcher Ibanez has homered against in 19 big league seasons. … Pujols had 21 homers, 63 RBIs and a .311 average in 71 career games against the Mets during his 11 seasons with St. Louis. … Weaver is 27-15 with a 3.38 ERA in 51 starts since his no-hitter against Minnesota on May 2, 2012. … This was Weaver’s second career start against the Mets. The other was on June 16, 2008, when he gave up two home runs by Carlos Beltran in a 9-6 loss at Angel Stadium. … The Angels obtained Cowgill from the Mets last June in a trade that sent OF Kyle Johnson to Flushing. Johnson is with Double-A Binghamton, and has yet to play in a big league game. … Duda’s homer was his first in 27 career at-bats as a designated hitter to that point. … Freese was 0 for 3 against Niese and is hitless in 12 career at-bats against the left-hander, who struck him out with a runner at third to end the fourth. … Weaver and Niese both were limited to 24 starts last season after spending substantial time on the disabled list _ Weaver because of a fracture in his non-pitching arm, and Niese due to a partial tear in his rotator cuff.