Pelfrey Limits The Damage, Delivers Some At Plate In Mets’ Win
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DENVER (AP) — Mike Pelfrey hit a tiebreaking two-run double and limited the Rockies to three solo homers, helping the New York Mets to a 4-3 win over Colorado on Tuesday night.
The Mets had lost all five of their games to the Rockies this season but finally put together a couple of rallies against their new nemesis to counter home runs by Troy Tulowitzki, Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez.
Despite the trio of long balls he served up, Pelfrey (3-3) allowed six hits over 6 2-3 innings and improved to 6-2 lifetime against the Rockies, who have lost seven of nine but remain atop the NL West. Pelfrey’s outing was cut short by a nearly hour-long rain delay in the seventh inning.
Jason Hammel (3-2) entered the game with a 13-inning scoreless streak and the Mets promptly ended that, scoring two runs in the first inning on Ike Davis’ two-run single.
Jose Reyes laced a leadoff double and Daniel Murphy followed with a single. Carlos Beltran drew a one-out walk to load the bases and Davis lined a single to center for a 2-0 lead.
After a visit from pitching coach Bob Apodaca, Hammel set down the next 10 batters, and the Rockies tied it in the second when Tulowitzki and Smith hit homers to right field, Tulo connecting on a 2-2 four-seamer for his ninth homer and Smith sending Pelfrey’s split-finger fastball into the bullpen for his third home run.
Hammel was cruising along until Ronny Paulino’s comebacker richocheted off his left calf for a two-out single in the fourth inning. Hammel walked around for a minute, then threw three practice pitches while a member of the team’s medical staff, manager Jim Tracy and Apodaca looked on from the lip of the mound.
He stayed in but had trouble with his command, walking Jason Pridie before Pelfrey laced a double to right-center for his first hit of the year, driving in both runners and giving the Mets a 4-2 lead.
Hammel allowed four earned runs on seven hits in seven innings in yet another solid start by the Rockies’ rotation.
In the bottom of the fourth, third baseman David Wright and first baseman Ike Davis collided in front of the mound while going after Tulowitzki’s high popup. Wright made the catch but Davis strained his left calf on the play. Davis stayed in the game but left an inning later when Justin Turner entered the game at second base and Murphy moved over the first.
Gonzalez made it 4-3 in the sixth when he sent Pelfrey’s fastball into the rock pile in straightaway center for his third homer of the year and first at home.
With two outs, nobody on and a 2-2 count on Dexter Fowler, the game was delayed by rain and lightning for 50 minutes in the bottom of the seventh.
A member of the grounds crew was briefly trapped under the tarp, tripping while helping to pull the tarp over the infield and was quickly smothered as the rest of the crew continued on. Once the tarp was flush, he crawled his way out to safety and smiled.
The crowd, which was retreating to the concourse, cheered as the man crawled out from under the white tarp like a mouse sneaking out from under the bed sheets.
When the game resumed, reliever Jason Isringhausen replaced Pelfrey and Fowler fouled his first pitch off his left foot and had to leave the game. He was replaced by Ryan Spilborghs, who drew a walk before Isringhausen struck out Jonathan Herrera to end the inning.
Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak combined for a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Both the Mets and Rockies have been struggling mightily at the plate. The Rockies entered the night with a .232 team batting average, dragged down by a bevy of scuffling hitters, four of whom aren’t even hitting .200.
“When you’re struggling, whenever you hit the ball, it seems like there’s 20 people playing defense,” mused Gonzalez, the Rockies’ slumping slugger, before the game.
And when Colorado did get some home runs on this night, the bases were always empty.
Notes: Rockies RHP Esmil Rogers, on the 15-day DL with a right lat muscle strain, experienced pain while throwing Tuesday and was going to get an MRI. … Mets manager Terry Collins said Wright, 1 for 8 in this series but 35 for 99 lifetime at Coors Field, will get the day off Wednesday when the teams play their series finale. … Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (broken finger) performed well in a three-inning stint at extended spring training in Arizona on Tuesday. … Rockies INF Ty Wigginton (oblique) is slated to play at Triple-A Colorado Springs Wednesday and Thursday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)