NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Capuano put aside any hint of pain and then really cramped Oakland’s style.
Capuano got the free-swinging Athletics to chase a lot of early changeups and pitched six scoreless innings before leaving with a tweak on his right side as the New York Mets won 4-1 on a dreary Thursday.
Capuano drove in the first run of the game, albeit with a double-play grounder, and Jose Reyes later took advantage of Oakland’s shaky new first basemen to keep the Mets ahead.
Mets manager Terry Collins pulled Capuano as a precaution because of discomfort in his abdomen. Capuano said he may’ve become dehydrated while waiting for the rain-delayed game to begin.
“I felt it warming up in the bullpen,” Capuano said. “Just a little crampy. Not real sharp. Like a little dull ache.”
“I think it was smart” to come out, he said. “Let’s nip it in the bud.”
After the start of the game was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 15 minutes, the Mets won their second in a row. They beat the A’s on Wednesday night in a rain-interrupted game that took 13 innings and ended after midnight.
Capuano (6-7) said he was in bed at home as that long game kept getting longer. He was preparing to head back to the ballpark in case he was needed when New York won.
Fully rested, Capuano shut down the A’s on five hits without a walk and struck out seven. Pedro Beato relieved to begin the seventh and Francisco Rodriguez closed for his 20th save in 23 chances, a day after blowing a ninth-inning lead.
Reyes hit a pair of RBI singles and also scored a run. The Mets, however, got a lot of help from Oakland’s fielders.
The Athletics sent slumping first baseman Daric Barton down to Triple-A on Wednesday, leaving themselves short at the position. Longtime second baseman Mark Ellis shifted over for his first career start there, and his inexperience at first base showed.
“A little nervous before the game and it took me a little while to get used to it,” Ellis said.
The speedy Reyes opened the fifth with a grounder and Ellis ranged much too far to his right, missing the ball and leaving the bag uncovered. Second baseman Jemile Weeks made a clean pickup, but zipped a throw past pitcher Graham Godfrey (1-1) for an error. A sacrifice set up Daniel Murphy’s RBI single with two outs for a 3-0 lead.
“It’s not an easy play,” Reyes said.
Said Ellis: “After a stab, I knew I made a mistake.”
In the sixth, the A’s made a double-switch and inserted Chris Carter at first base — a highly touted minor leaguer, he was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento and arrived at the ballpark in midmorning after an all-night flight from the West.
Carter’s first play was a foul popup by Reyes with two outs that he dropped near the stands for an error. Carter may have been preoccupied by Weeks coming over, too. Reyes, the NL’s top hitter, slapped the next pitch from Craig Breslow for an RBI single.
“You don’t have too many opportunities like that in the big leagues,” Reyes said.
Coco Crisp had a sacrifice fly in the Oakland eighth.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the second. Capuano grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and Reyes hit an RBI single.
NOTES: Justin Turner was hit in the left thigh by Godfrey in the first inning. Turner was plunked in nearly the same spot with two outs and the bases loaded in the 13th inning Wednesday night, ending the game. … Capuano has not given up a first-inning run in 14 starts this year. … Hideki Matsui sat out for the A’s. Normally a DH, he played the outfield for the first time this season and did quite well in the opening two games of the series. He’s likely to start twice in the outfield this weekend at Philadelphia. … The A’s put OF Josh Willingham, who leads the team in homers and RBIs, on the DL because of a strained left Achilles’. Carter was promoted — he caught a ride from Tucson to Phoenix on Wednesday night, then took a redeye flight that was delayed. He got to New York around 8:45 a.m. … Mike Pelfrey makes his first start against the Rangers when the Mets open a weekend series at Texas. … The Mets rewarded fans who sat through the rain delay with a free ticket for the Aug. 11 game vs. San Diego.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.