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Giants can't hold lead in loss to Mets


Giants can't hold lead in loss to Mets
The Giants fattened up with early games against NL West opponents like the Padres and Diamondbacks, whose hitting actually ranks below theirs in some glamour categories.

Now they are facing a running, gunning Mets club. And the Giants are getting their fill, all right.

For the second consecutive night, the relentless Mets put runners in motion and caused the Giants to forget their fundamentals. Brian Wilson cracked under the pressure in the ninth inning again, committing a throwing error that scored Gary Sheffield with the go-ahead run as the Giants lost 8-6 in front of a sellout crowd at AT&T Park.

The Mets stole four bases, battered Tim Lincecum for a career high-tying 10 hits and completed a four-run comeback when David Wright hit a bases-clearing double off Merkin Valdez in the seventh inning.

Once again, Wilson was summoned to protect a tie in the ninth and couldn't do it. After Sheffield hit a leadoff single and Carlos Beltran walked, Wilson bounded off the mound to field Ryan Church's sacrifice bunt. He had plenty of time to get the force at third base, but his wide throw ticked off Pablo Sandoval's glove and rolled into left field.

Wilson didn't bother to back up home plate, instead standing motionless as Sheffield raced home. The Mets added another run on a sacrifice fly as the Giants lost their third consecutive game. They'll need to beat Johan Santana today and follow up with another victory Sunday to avoid their first series loss at home this season.

The Giants lost despite leading 5-1 after two innings with Lincecum on the mound. They scored a four-run first inning against Livan Hernandez; Fred Lewis added another in the second inning with a solo home run his first since Aug. 14 at Houston. Lewis had gone 182 at-bats between home runs.

It was just his fifth homer in 351 career at-bats at AT&T Park.

The Mets don't have a home run in the series, but that hasn't impeded them. They were 11-for-11 in stolen-base attempts over two games before Church was caught trying to swipe second base in the ninth inning.

Neither manager was around for the end. Giants manager Bruce Bochy drew his first ejection of the season in the seventh inning while arguing that Pablo Sandoval checked his swing while getting hit by a pitch. Plate umpire Doug Eddings disagreed, calling Sandoval out.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel followed in the eighth after arguing balls and strikes with Eddings.

Bochy saw enough in the seventh, when the first two hitters reached base against Lincecum. With his ace's pitch count at 114, Bochy went to Valdez and almost immediately had cause to regret the decision. Bochy slammed the dugout rail when Valdez issued a four-pitch walk to Sheffield, and Wright followed with his line drive over Sandoval's glove. Sheffield's 40-year-old legs allowed him to score from first base without a play as Lewis was slow to collect the ball in the left field corner.

Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt pulled a hero's escape to preserve the tie. Wright stole third base his fifth steal of the series to draw the infield in. But Affeldt threw a series of nasty breaking pitches to strike out three batters. Catcher Bengie Molina smothered several of them to prevent a wild pitch.

It looked to be a much happier evening before the sun went down. Rich Aurilia, who started because Travis Ishikawa was hit near the left eye during batting practice, lined a two-run single to cap the first-inning rally against Hernandez.

Aurilia wasn't as fortunate in the eighth, though. Randy Winn hit a one-out triple off the top of the right field arcade and was stranded there after Aaron Rowand struck out. Aurilia scorched a line drive that shortstop Alex Cora snagged for the third out.

Rowand was 0-for-4 to extend what has become a run of miserable at-bats.

Mets 8, Giants 6 ?Today: vs. N.Y. Mets, 1 p.m. ?TV/Radio: Fox/KNBR (680)


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 17, 2009

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