Mets 4, Brewers 3
Long after Carlos Beltran left with pain in his troublesome
knee, light-hitting rookie Ruben Tejada provided a pleasant
surprise for the New York Mets.
Tejada laced a two-run double in the ninth inning off closer
John Axford, rallying New York to a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee
Brewers on Tuesday night.
”I feel great,” Tejada said. ”It’s a great experience for me
this year. I’m learning a lot.”
David Wright had a two-run homer and the Mets opened their final
homestand of the season with their third consecutive win.
Corey Hart homered for Milwaukee and Randy Wolf pitched seven
strong innings. Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI double.
Axford (8-2) struck out Wright to escape an eighth-inning jam,
but Ike Davis opened the ninth with a double off the base of the
Josh Thole blooped a one-out single that put runners at the
corners and Tejada drove the next pitch up the left-center alley
for his third hit – and second double – of the game.
”I think he’s made some adjustments at the plate and they’re
starting to pay off. It’s exciting to see,” Mets pitcher Mike
Pelfrey said. ”Not only did he get three hits, but he drove some
of those balls with authority.”
Pinch-runner Luis Castillo scored from first with a headfirst
slide and the Mets rushed toward second base to mob Tejada, who
raised his batting average from .199 to .210.
Elmer Dessens (4-2) worked a perfect ninth. New York had been
0-67 when trailing after eight innings.
”I got beat by leaving fastballs up,” Axford said.
Beltran was removed in the sixth because of pain in his right
knee, the same one that was operated on in January, forcing him to
miss the first half of the season.
The star center fielder will have tests Wednesday at the
Hospital for Special Surgery, and the Mets will keep their fingers
crossed about Beltran’s prospects for a healthy 2011 season.
”Honestly, in my heart, I don’t feel like I have to worry,”
Beltran said. ”I feel something. I don’t know what it is. But you
know, after being back and being able to play all these games, I
didn’t feel anything until today. So let’s see what happens.”
One night after the teams were rained out, they played without
interruption following a dreary afternoon that included tornado
warnings in the area.
With the score tied at 2, late substitute Joe Inglett hit a
leadoff double in the eighth against Pelfrey and advanced to third
on Hart’s groundout to the right side.
Pedro Feliciano entered to face slugger Prince Fielder, who
chopped an RBI grounder to shortstop against a drawn-in infield
that left Jose Reyes with only one play, at first base.
The husky Fielder also made a dynamic, diving grab of Pelfrey’s
foul bunt in the third. Thole made a similar play on Wolf’s foul
bunt in the fifth.
Wolf allowed four hits and struck out four, shutting down the
Mets yet again. He is 12-5 in 32 starts against New York, including
6-0 in his past 10.
The left-hander nearly became the first starting pitcher to beat
the Mets for five teams. He’s done it with Philadelphia, San Diego,
Houston and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
”Put that one in the tough loss column,” Milwaukee manager Ken
Macha said. ”We got beat by the bottom of their order.”
Lucas Duda, batting in Beltran’s No. 3 spot, fisted a soft
single over second baseman Rickie Weeks with two outs in the sixth
and Wright followed with his 27th homer, tying it at 2.
Casey McGehee drew a two-out walk in the fourth and scored
easily from first when Cain doubled to deep left-center. Hart
homered to center on Pelfrey’s first pitch in the sixth, his 31st
of the season.
Jesus Feliciano kept the game scoreless in the third, throwing
out George Kottaras at the plate on Inglett’s two-out single to
The teams will play a twi-night doubleheader Wednesday beginning
at 4:10 p.m.
NOTES: Brewers LF Ryan Braun was scratched minutes before the
first pitch because of a stomach virus. He was replaced by Inglett,
who batted second. Hart dropped from the second spot to No. 3. …
Milwaukee 3B prospect Mat Gamel will have season-ending surgery
Wednesday on his left big toe. … Mets OF Angel Pagan was not with
the team because his daughter was scheduled to have eye surgery
early Wednesday. Pagan is expected back for Wednesday’s
doubleheader. … It was Pedro Feliciano’s 89th appearance,
breaking his own club record set last season. … New York pitching
coach Dan Warthen left the club to attend his brother’s funeral in
Florida. He is expected back Thursday.