Blanco’s homer gives Mets 5-4 victory
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Mets had a jumbled mess behind the plate when they reported to spring training this year.
Their catching situation is definitely settled now.
Henry Blanco hit a leadoff homer in the 11th inning, New York’s second game-ending drive by a catcher in less than a day, and the Mets beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday for their ninth straight home win.
It was the first time New York had won consecutive games on game-ending homers since Robin Ventura and Mike Piazza did it July 28-29, 2001, against Philadelphia, according to STATS LLC. Rod Barajas connected in the ninth inning Friday night to give New York a 6-4 victory.
Blanco drove a 1-0 pitch from former Mets reliever Guillermo Mota (0-1) just over the wall in left for his first homer of the season and the first game-ending drive of his career. Blanco finished with three hits and is batting .429 (9 for 21) in his last seven starts.
Aubrey Huff drove in two runs for San Francisco, which lost cleanup hitter Molina to a tight left hamstring in the third. Slumping slugger Pablo Sandoval singled in the fourth to end an 0-for-15 slide and hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
“They just got enough of that one there,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We have a lost a few that way, with the long ball late.”
Huff’s long drive to right with two on in the 10th died in the wind, which dumped all kinds of trash on the field, and was caught by Jeff Francoeur on the warning track.
“This place makes our park look like a band box,” Huff said. “It’s a tough environment to play in. A lot of wind, a lot of trash. This is a frustrating place when the wind is blowing.”
Todd Wellemeyer allowed four runs and three hits over 4 1-3 innings for San Francisco in his first start since April 27. He tossed three scoreless innings in a relief appearance against Colorado last Sunday.
Molina was replaced by Whiteside before the Mets batted in the bottom of the third. He led off the second with a single off the left-field wall, raising his batting average to .333.
“I guess it’s just one too many bruises. It got kind of tight,” he said. “I was just trying to play it smart. As it feels right now I could probably play tomorrow.”
Castillo also departed with a bruised left heel and is day to day. Manuel said it’s been bothering him for a while and he was removed as a precaution. He is expected to rest during Sunday’s series finale.
NOTES: Barajas’ left hand was swollen and sore hours after he was struck by Whiteside, who swung at a pitchout that wasn’t outside enough. Barajas said he told Manuel he was OK, but the manager decided to give him the day off. … Giants RHP Sergio Romo, who gave up Barajas’ homer Friday night, is 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA and a blown save in his last five appearances, including three in four days before Saturday’s game. “We may have to back him off a little bit,” Bochy said.