Giants hold on to beat Mets 4-3 in 10 innings
NEW YORK—Hector Sanchez hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning off Frank Francisco, and the San Francisco Giants came back after blowing the lead in the ninth and just hung on to beat the New York Mets 4-3 Friday night.
Angel Pagan homered in his return to Citi Field as San Francisco built a 3-0 lead in the third for Barry Zito, but solo home runs by Jason Bay in the fourth and rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the fifth started New York's comeback.
With closer Brian Wilson out for the year following elbow surgery, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez combined to allow the Mets to send the game to extra innings on Josh Thole's tying single.
Then in the 10th, Francisco (0-1) 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.
Sergio Romo (1-0) struck out Ruben Tejada with runners at second and third to end the ninth as San Francisco won its third straight and sent the Mets to their third consecutive loss.
But it wasn't simple. Daniel Murphy and David Wright singled to start the 10th, Clay Hensley relieved and Ike Davis advanced the runners with a groundout.
Hensley struck out Bay with the infield in. Lucas Duda fouled off four straight pitches, took two, then flied out as Hensley got his first save since 2010.
Buster 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, while Jonathon Niese gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.
Traded in December for center fielder Andres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez, Pagan homered to the left of straightaway center leading off the third, a drive that would not have cleared the old wall at Citi Field. Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval singled, Posey hit an RBI double and Sandoval came home on a wild pitch for a 3-0 lead.
Bay's two-out homer in the fourth ended a streak of 17 straight scoreless innings for Giants pitchers, and Nieuwenhuis homered leading off the fifth. It took 250 games and 4,155 at-bats for a Mets left-handed hitter to clear the left-field wall at Citi Field, according to STATS LLC. And it took reconfigured dimensions, too.
The drive off the left-handed Zito cleared the new 8-foot fence by about 2 feet and landed in the Party City Deck. It was well short of the old 16-foot wall, which is about 10 feet deeper. It was the fourth home run in seven games this season that cleared the new fence but would not have gone over the old wall.
Batting left-handed, Pagan hit an inside-the-park, opposite-field homer for the Mets against Philadelphia on Aug. 23, 2009. Also, Davis hit a drive slightly to the left of center off Atlanta's Derek Lowe on July 11, 2010.
After Nieuwenhuis' homer, New York loaded the bases but Davis popped out on Zito's 100th and final pitch. Davis is hitting .140 following an 0-for-5 night.
Nieuwenhuis also made two fine catches, running in and diving for Brandon Crawford's soft liner with the bases loaded in the second and sprinting into the left-center gap for a diving, backhand grab to rob Sanchez and end the seventh.
NOTES: There have been seven opposite-field homers to left by left-handed visitors at Citi Field, according to STATS: Joey Votto twice, Ryan Howard twice and Jorge Posada, Adam Dunn and Nick Johnson once apiece. ... 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," Giants manager Bruce 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. He was due in New York later Friday. ... 2B Freddy Sanchez (right shoulder) worked out in Arizona but wasn't ready to start a rehab assignment. ... Sandoval extended his hitting streak at the start of the season to 13 games. ... Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was at the game, as was retired knuckleballer Charlie Hough. ... New York C Mike Nickeas stopped an 0-for-20 slide dating to last year with a fifth-inning single. ... Murphy caught Tejada's flip barehanded, stepped on second base and threw to first for an inning-ending double play on Sandoval's grounder in the seventh.