Mets’ Turn To Benefit From The Bizarre: Walk-Off Hit By Pitch Victory
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — There’s a reason Justin Turner is fast becoming a fan favorite.
Turner saw sidearmer Brad Ziegler’s pitch coming right for him, so he dug in. He took one for the team, getting hit by a pitch with two outs in the 13th inning to force in the winning run and the Mets ended the Oakland Athletics’ six-game winning streak, 3-2 Wednesday night.
“I’m staying in and holding my ground,” Turner said. “Unless it’s at my face or around my ankle or something, I’ll stay in there and take the bruise and get that game over with.”
And how tough was it for Turner to stand in there and get hit?
He gave a big laugh while saying it hit him, “in my uniform.”
Lucas Duda had a one-out single in the 13th off Ziegler (2-1). Daniel Murphy, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the 11th, singled to left. One out later, Jose Reyes was intentionally walked.
Turner then was grazed on the left thigh with Ziegler’s first pitch. He turned to home plate umpire Alan Porter, looking for the call that gave the Mets their first walk-off win of the season.
“If I was going to get beat I wish they beat me with a base hit,” Ziegler said. “It wouldn’t have felt as bad, but the pitch just got away from me a bit.”
Regardless of the manner of the game-winner, the Mets raced onto the field to surround Turner between first and second for a bouncing celebration.
“If you’re going to play that long and that grueling, you might as well win,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Bobby Parnell (2-1) pitched one inning in a rain-delayed game that took 4 hours and ended after midnight.
Turner gave the Mets a lead in the eighth inning with an RBI single after Reyes hit his major league-leading 13th triple, but Francisco Rodriguez blew his second straight save opportunity in the ninth, giving up an RBI single to Conor Jackson with two outs to tie it.
Rodriguez gave up two runs in a loss to Atlanta last Thursday and he has allowed 11 runs in his last 9 2-3 innings.
“I have to stop those pathetic outings. It’s really pathetic,” Rodriguez said. “You’ve got to get it done.”
“Be more aggressive, start making quality pitches and start getting people out because it’s been really embarrassing.”
The Mets had the bases loaded in the 12th but failed to capitalize against Ziegler.
Hideki Matsui made a tumbling shoestring catch in left field to end the 11th with a runner on first. The A’s regular designated hitter has made several nice catches in two games against the Mets, his first two in the outfield since last September.
“Gold Glove, gold jersey. That guy looks unbelievable in the field right now,” A’s starter Gio Gonzalez said about Matsui.
The Athletics had runners on first and second with one out in the 11th but Pedro Beato entered in a double-switch that removed Jason Bay from the game and held the A’s.
Reyes’ triple to right-center off Joey Devine was the first hit for one of the top four batters for either team in a game that was dominated by a duel between R.A. Dickey and Gonzalez for seven innings.
Dickey’s knuckleball was particularly effective on a sticky night that began with a downpour that delayed the start for 1 hour, 3 minutes. He went eight innings for the third time in four outings and allowed three hits and a homer to Kurt Suzuki.
The light-hitting Athletics mustered just three hits through eight innings while trying to match their longest winning streak since 2009, all while wearing their alternative brilliant gold jerseys.
“I think it’s just sad to see the gold jerseys die like that but we battled and did a great job,” Gonzalez said. “I think this is one of my favorite games that I’ve been part of. The way we battled, the way we fought shows that we have signs of life and that we can definitely do this more and more.”
Gonzalez allowed four hits and a second-inning run over seven innings. He was pinch-hit for in the eighth and Devine took over.
With one out, Reyes, the NL’s leading hitter, snapped a 2-for-20 rut with a drive to right-center that appeared to go just under the glove of right fielder Ryan Sweeney as he crashed into the wall. Reyes scored on Turner’s hit to left for a 2-1 lead.
Kurt Suzuki snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a one-out homer in the fifth to tie it.
Duda had given the Mets an early lead with an RBI single in the second.
After Duda’s hit, Gonzalez retired 17 of 19 before being pinch-hit for by Mark Ellis in the eighth. Ellis was activated from the disabled list before the game only to find that surprising rookie Jemile Weeks has secured the second base job.
NOTES: Oakland’s RHP Tyson Ross (oblique) pitched to minor leaguers Tuesday. Manager Bob Melvin said, “I heard it went well.” … Melvin said Ellis will work out at first, second and third base. … Mets 3B David Wright (back) will be reevaluated by a doctor Thursday. He’s been out since May 16. 1B Ike Davis (ankle) might face season-ending surgery if he does not show improvement over the next three weeks.
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