Eric Young Jr. gave the New York Mets’ lineup a needed jolt from the leadoff spot when he came over from Colorado in June. For the first time since arriving, he provided a bit of power at the perfect time.
Young hit a game-ending, two-run homer with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Mets snapped the Kansas City Royals’ nine-game winning streak 4-2 on Friday night.
It was Young’s second homer of the season and the first game-ending hit of his major league career.
After going 5-24 on New York’s 3-5 trip that ended Thursday, Young got his second hit of the night when he slammed a 3-1 pitch from Luis Mendoza (2-6) over the right-field fence to score Omar Quintanilla, who had walked.
"I was just looking for a line drive. Thankful it got up," Young said. "Came at a great time. We definitely needed the pick-me-up."
Young, who hadn’t homered since May 14, now has seven in five major league seasons.
It gave the Mets something to smile about after a day full of injuries that nearly cost them this game and might leave them without injured All-Star David Wright for a while.
Wright staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead with a first-inning homer, but New York’s beat-up bullpen couldn’t protect it as Kansas City scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to tie it.
The Royals, whose surge matched the team’s fifth-longest winning streak, were trying for their first 10-game run since they won 14 straight in 1994.
"It never feels good after you lose a game, but yeah, it was a nice streak," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Now let’s see if we can start another one."
Yost was forced to use Mendoza in the 11th because he was his last available reliever. Tim Collins was away from the team to visit his gravely ill grandfather, Yost said. Luke Hochevar couldn’t go after throwing two innings Thursday.
Carlos Torres (2-2), New York’s scheduled starter for Saturday, worked two innings for the win in the 4 hour, 7 minute marathon.
The Mets entered the night with a pair of big injuries to their bullpen and ended it without Wright, who was forced out in the 10th inning when he strained his right hamstring while beating out an infield hit.
He will have an MRI on Saturday. Mike Baxter is expected to join the club then.
"It’s going to be tough for us," Young said. "He brings so much to our lineup. That’s why he is our captain."
Wright provided all of New York’s offense — until Young’s heroics — with his early shot off starter Wade Davis.
But New York’s bullpen that was without closer Bobby Parnell (stiff neck) and setup man Josh Edgin (rib stress fracture) couldn’t save it for Dillon Gee, who worked into the eighth inning.
Salvador Perez’s fielder’s choice got Kansas City within 2-1 in the eighth, and Lorenzo Cain’s sacrifice fly in the ninth tied it. David Aardsma wasted the save chance while filling in for Parnell, expected to be sidelined until at least Sunday.
Pedro Feliciano, who joined the team just before the game after Edgin went on the disabled list, got the last out in the ninth inning in his first major league appearance since 2010.
Gee was in line to be the star after allowing one run on just three singles and two walks. He struck out four in his ninth quality start in 12 outings.
Kansas City had earned road sweeps at the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota before making its first visit to Citi Field.
"We’ve came back a lot this year," outfielder Alex Gordon said. "When they got that early 2-0 lead, we knew that the game was far from over. The pitching staff did a great job after the first inning just to keep it there and let us get a chance.
"Unfortunately it wasn’t enough."
Juan Lagares singled in the first before Wright launched his 16th homer. It was his 220th with the Mets, tying him with Mike Piazza for second place on the franchise list.
Ike Davis went 3 for 3 after being dropped to seventh in the batting order by manager Terry Collins, who shook things up after the Mets were shut out on Thursday for the first time since May 25. Davis was lifted for a pinch-runner after he led off the ninth with a double.
Gee bounced back from a rough outing at Washington last Saturday when he allowed a career-worst three homer in a 4-1 loss.
Gee had an easy trip through the Royals lineup the first time through, allowing only a leadoff walk to Johnson in the third. Johnson was sacrificed to second, but he was stranded there when Alex Gordon struck out.
Perez singled with one out in the fourth for Kansas City’s first hit.
Wade Davis was gone after throwing 104 pitches in five innings. He gave up eight hits and struck out five with no walks.
It was the second straight decent outing for Davis, who worked into the eighth inning of Kansas City’s 1-0 win at the Chicago White Sox last Saturday. In four previous starts, Davis was 0-4 with a 10.91 ERA.
NOTES: This is the third series between the teams. They split six previous games. … Wright’s homer was the Mets’ first in 64 innings, dating to last Friday. … Wade Davis made one previous appearance against the Mets, last season in relief with Tampa Bay. … Edgin is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks. … Former Mets left-hander Bruce Chen starts Saturday’s matinee for Kansas City. Jeremy Hefner will make the start for New York in Torres’ place.