By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jeremy Affeldt watched San Francisco manager
Bruce Bochy walk from the dugout to the mound, over and over again.
“He got his cardio in. He did a lot of trips,” the reliever
With All-Star closer Brian Wilson out for the season following
elbow surgery, Bochy used six relievers in a 10-inning thriller
Friday night. Clay Hensley came in and escaped a two-on, none-out
jam in the 10th to preserve a 4-3 victory over the New York Mets.
Hector Sanchez tagged out Kirk Nieuwenhuis to prevent the Mets
from winning in the ninth, then singled home the go-ahead run off
Frank Francisco (0-1) in the 10th.
“This is going to be a gut-check for us,” said Giants starter
Barry Zito, who got out of his own bases-loaded trouble in the
fifth. “We’ve got studs down there in the `pen, and they’re ready
for the challenge.”
Bochy used 20 of 24 available players and made three
double-switches _ two in the ninth and one in the 10th.
“That would have been a tough one to lose,” he said.
San Francisco took a 3-0 lead in the third when Angel Pagan
homered in his return to New York, Buster Posey hit an RBI double
and Jonathon Niese threw a run-scoring wild pitch.
New York’s first two hits off Zito were both home runs, by Jason
Bay in the fourth and Nieuwenhuis in the fifth, which made the
rookie the first Mets left-handed hitter to clear the left-field
wall at Citi Field. It took 250 games and 4,155 at-bats, according
to STATS LLC. And it took reconfigured dimensions, too.
Guillermo Mota and Affeldt followed Zito and retired nine
straight batters. But Bay reached on an infield hit to deep
shortstop off Santiago Casilla leading off the ninth. Javier Lopez
came in and got pinch-hitter Lucas Duda to fly to right, then Lopez
threw a wild pitch, Nieuwenhuis walked and Josh Thole singled to
right to drive in the tying run.
Sergio Romo (1-0) relieved with runners at the corners and, with
the infield in, pinch-hitter Mike Baxter hit a grounder to first
baseman Brandon Belt, who threw home in time for Sanchez to tag
Nieuwenhuis. Romo then struck out Ruben Tejada.
“We had the opportunity to win several times,” Mets manager
Terry Collins said.
Then in the 10th, Francisco walked Melky Cabrera on four pitches
leading off, and with one out Cabrera stole second on a pitchout.
After Gregor Blanco flied out, Nate Schierholtz was intentionally
walked and Sanchez singled to shallow center. It was a rare key hit
for the Giants, who went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position
through nine innings and 2 for 14 overall, leaving them with a .195
RISP average for the season (26 for 133).
Bochy had left Sanchez in the game in the ninth when he could
have moved Posey from first to behind the plate. But he liked the
way Sanchez was catching.
“He trusts me,” Sanchez said. “This is great for me.”
But the Giants didn’t make it easy on themselves.
Daniel Murphy and David Wright singled to start the 10th,
Hensley relieved in the final double switch and Ike Davis advanced
the runners with a groundout.
With the infield in, Hensley struck out Bay.
“I really didn’t want to give him anything to hit, because the
base was open, but at the same time, they did have a lefty coming
up,” Hensley said.
Duda fouled off four straight pitches, took two, then flied out
as Hensley got his first save since Oct. 3, 2010, for Florida.
“I was pretty fired up,” said Hensley, a 32-year-old
right-hander. “Those are things I think I’ve learned in the past,
that you’ve got to breathe and just kind of let your stuff work for
itself and try to let the situation kind of take hold of you.”
NOTES: Posey singled and hit an RBI double in his first two
plate appearances for San Francisco, giving him nine hits in a span
of 14 at-bats. Posey was retired in his next two at-bats. … Zito
allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, leaving him with a
1.71 ERA. He retired Davis on a popup to end the fifth. … San
Francisco won its third straight and sent the Mets to their third
consecutive loss. … Wilson had elbow ligament replacement surgery
Thursday. Dr. James Andrews operated on Wilson, as he did when the
right-hander was at LSU in 2003. “It went great,” Bochy said.
“He’s starting his rehab, which is a long road he’ll go down, but
he’s been down it before and he knows what’s ahead of him.” …
INF Ryan Theriot missed the team flight Thursday because he was
sick. Bochy expects him to arrive in New York on Saturday. … 2B
Freddy Sanchez (right shoulder) worked out in Arizona but wasn’t
ready to start a rehab assignment. … Pedro Sandoval extended his
hitting streak at the start of the season to 13 games.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)