Cuddyer comes up big for Mets in walk-off win
NEW YORK -- Michael Cuddyer laced an RBI single to center field in the ninth inning off Giants reliever Sergio Romo to propel the Mets to a 5-4 walk-off victory Thursday night at Citi Field.
It was Cuddyer's fourth career walk-off hit and first since April 19, 2006 when he was with the Twins.
"I knew it had been a long time because I didn't remember the last one," Cuddyer said.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum looked sharp to start the game, working through the first three innings without allowing a hit, but he labored through the next two frames and tossed 102 pitches on a humid night before he was removed from the game with two outs in the fifth inning. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on four hits with five strikeouts in the fourth start this season in which he did not make it out of the fifth.
"I just haven't been executing the way I'd like to the last couple games. The first three innings were really good and then it kind of just went to [crap]," Lincecum said.
After allowing a pair of runs in the first inning, Mets left-hander Jon Niese settled down to retire 12 straight batters before an error with two outs in the sixth inning opened the door for the Giants. Niese allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.
"It was a good outing to build on. My stuff felt great," Niese said. "My mechanics were more sound, allowing me to locate better. My pitches were doing what they're supposed to, instead of cutting off."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dropping the ball: Giants catcher Andrew Susac committed a costly passed ball when he failed to corral a Romo slider in the bottom of the ninth. Susac's passed ball allowed Curtis Granderson to advance to second, representing the tying run with one out. It also eliminated the possibility of a double play, which could have come in handy when Juan Lagares grounded up the middle a few pitches later. Instead, Granderson advanced to third on Lagares' grounder before scoring the winning run.
Granderson ties game: Granderson collected two hits for the second consecutive game, but his biggest came in the seventh inning. With a runner on second and no out, Granderson skipped an RBI single up the middle off Hunter Strickland to tie the game at 4-4. Granderson also singled with a runner in scoring position in the fifth, but the runner was held at third.
"When it's crunch time and you can rely on those guys, it just takes a lot of pressure off those younger guys," Mets manager Terry Collins said about his veteran hitters.
Crawford capitalizes: How many times do you see it? A player makes an error to extend the inning and the opposing team makes him pay. With the Mets cradling a one-run lead in the sixth, Eric Campbell booted Justin Maxwell's routine, two-out grounder to third, extending the inning for Brandon Crawford , who capitalized by driving a 0-1 curveball from Niese over the right-center field wall to put the Giants ahead, albeit briefly since the Mets tied it at 4 in the seventh. It was Crawford's ninth home run of the year, tying Buster Posey for the team lead.
Avoiding the walk-off: The Giants survived this late into June before they were handed their first walk-off defeat of the season by the Mets. San Francisco had been 3-0 when tied after eight innings, as it was in this game, a testament to a strong bullpen. More >
"John Smoltz was here tonight with MLB [Network] and he said 'How you doing?' I said, "We just got no-hit and my star pitcher just got his brains beat out. Our best two hitters are on the DL and we have 14 others to join them. How do you think I'm doing?' So it was a big win for us." -- Collins after the win
"Good road trip. We'll take two series and you'd like to get greedy and get this one, but just couldn't hold the lead." -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy after missing out on the sweep
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mets have committed 13 errors behind Niese. That's the second most in the Majors, trailing only Oakland's Jesse Chavez. A whopping 25 percent of the runs Niese has allowed this season have been unearned. More >
In the top of the first inning, Joe Panik hit a one-hop squibber to Campbell at third base. The ball's funky spin made it redirect on Campbell, who was forced to make the long throw across the diamond from his back foot. Panik was ruled safe and the Mets challenged the call. The umpiring crew could not find sufficient evidence to overturn the call.
Giants: The Giants played a night game in New York on Thursday and traveled across the country for Friday night's 7:15 p.m. PT game in San Francisco against the D-backs. They can take solace with having their ace, Madison Bumgarner, on the mound. He surrendered five earned runs in his last start against the Phillies, matching a season high, but struck out 11.
Mets: The Mets continue their eight-game homestand by welcoming the Braves to Citi Field for a three-game set that begins at 7:10 p.m. ET Friday. Bartolo Colon takes the mound looking for his ninth win.
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