Lefty Solid Into 7th, But Bats AWOL In 2-1 Loss To Rockies

DENVER (AP) — Chris Iannetta broke a seventh-inning tie with a homer that barely cleared the left-field wall and the Colorado Rockies snapped their four-game skid with a 2-1 win over the New York Mets on Monday night.

Iannetta, who stretched out a double that led to Colorado’s first run two innings earlier, sent an 81 mph slider from lefty Chris Capuano into the tunnel down the left-field line for his fifth home run with one out in the seventh.

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Matt Belisle (3-2) got two outs for the win, Colorado’s fifth in five games against the Mets this season. They swept a four-game series at Citi Field in April.

Rafael Betancourt pitched a perfect eighth and Huston Street worked the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. Pinch-hitter Willie Harris led off with a check-swing single but was thrown out by Iannetta trying to steal second base after Jose Reyes capped an 0-for-5 night with a flyout to left.

Daniel Murphy grounded out to a diving Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop on the ninth pitch of his at-bat for the final out. New York left the bases loaded twice and stranded 10, finishing 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

The Mets learned before the game that right-hander Chris Young might need season-ending surgery after re-injuring his pitching shoulder. Assistant general manager John Ricco said Young hasn’t decided whether to try lengthy rehabilitation or have an operation to repair a tear in his anterior capsule.

The Rockies broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when Iannetta led off with a double, took third on pitcher Jhoulys Chacin’s groundout following a punch-out by Ian Stewart, who is mired in a 3-for-44 season-long funk, and scored on Dexter Fowler’s single to left.

Capuano (2-4) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

New York tied it in the sixth. Carlos Beltran walked, went to third on Ike Davis’ bloop single and scored on a high-hopper by Jason Bay to third baseman Stewart, whose throw to first pulled Todd Helton off the bag for an error. Bay was credited with the RBI that made it 1-all.

Chacin walked Josh Thole to load the bases but Mets manager Terry Collins didn’t pinch hit for Capuano, who ended the inning by striking out for the third time.

Chacin gave up one run and two hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked six, tying his career high set in his first major league start, against Pittsburgh in 2009.

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The Mets threatened in the seventh but Helton threw out Murphy trying to score from third on Beltran’s grounder to first. Iannetta was late with a slow tag, but got the call on a close play from plate umpire Mike Winters.

The Rockies, who entered the game in a .233 hitting funk, loaded the bases with one out in the first inning but Helton grounded into a double play, and they didn’t get another runner into scoring position until Iannetta doubled to left-center in the fifth.

Chacin didn’t give up a hit until Davis’ comebacker glanced off his glove and into center field with two outs in the fourth. Chacin walked the next two batters before Thole grounded out.

Despite their slide, the Rockies have been in sole possession first place in the NL West since April 6, their longest stint atop their division since a 40-game stretch in 1995.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy started Stewart even with a lefty on the mound.

“In order to get him going, I’ve got to play him,” Tracy said. “And then it’s up to him.”

Stewart went 0 for 3, dropping his batting average to .068.

He’s not alone in his misery at the plate. The Rockies’ 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 1 for 10, with Tulowitzki’s wind-aided bloop single the only hit between him, Helton and Carlos Gonzalez.

NOTES: The Mets also said top pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia will have season-ending elbow surgery. He had seen renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. … Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (finger) will pitch three innings or throw 45 pitches in an extended spring training game in Arizona on Tuesday. … Rockies INF Ty Wigginton (strained right oblique) took groundballs and batting practice in preparation for a possible rehab assignment this week.

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)