NEW YORK -- Bunt with your No. 3 hitter? Baseball logic says no. Lyle Overbay said yes.
Trailing 9-8 in the ninth inning Thursday, Milwaukee manager Ned Yost considered his options. The Brewers were rallying with runners at first and second and none out against the New York Mets. Overbay, who singled home the go-ahead runs the night before and had singled home two runs earlier in this one, was coming up.
"As much as I wanted to bunt, I didn't want to give up an out," Yost said after a five-run ninth carried the Brewers to a 12-9 victory.
Overbay understood the circumstances and bunted on his own anyway, putting the tying run on third and the lead run on second.
It made sense to him, even knowing the Mets would walk cleanup hitter Carlos Lee, who had eight hits in the series. That's because Geoff Jenkins was coming up behind Lee and he already had four hits in the game.
"I had the bunt in my mind from the beginning," Overbay said. "I know my limitations. If they walk Carlos, it's even better because it puts another runner on base."
Jenkins capitalized with his fifth hit, delivering the tying run with an RBI single. Pinch-hitter Damian Miller then beat out an infield single to drive in the go-ahead run.
Wes Helms capped the rally with a two-run double, the last of Milwaukee's 21 hits against six New York pitchers in a game that lasted an unbearable 4 hours, 9 minutes in stifling humidity. It tied the Mets' record for the longest nine-inning game in franchise history.
"That was impressive," Jenkins said, referring to Overbay's bunt. "We need him to hit right there, but that bunt was good."
After Lee got the expected intentional walk, he gestured to Jenkins.
"It was like he said, `Go!' Everyone was real tired. It woke me up," Jenkins said.
Mike Piazza homered and drove in five runs for the Mets. Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron also connected.
Roberto Hernandez (5-5) relieved with New York leading 9-7 in the ninth. Bill Hall led off with a double and scored on Brady Clark's fourth single. Rickie Weeks followed with a single, setting the stage for Overbay's bunt and the rest of the rally.
"It was just going to happen that way," Overbay said. "The whole game was like that. Last year, we lose that game."
Hernandez, who gave up a game-tying homer to Lee the night before, said his problem was location.
"I was just missing up in the strike zone," he said. "Nobody feels worse for this ballclub right now than me."
Julio Santana (3-5) worked the eighth for the win, and Derrick Turnbow got three outs for his 23rd save in 26 chances. Overbay and Russell Branyan each knocked in two runs, and Lee scored three times.
With a heat advisory in effect for New York City, Piazza caught a day game after a night game and drove in five runs with a homer, double and single. It was his 14th home run of the season, second in two days and No. 392 of his career.
"It's tough to enjoy, obviously, given the outcome," he said. "It was a tough game. It was long. It was hot. It was grueling."
Beltran hit his 13th homer in the third inning, and Piazza had a two-run shot. An inning later, Piazza hit a bases-loaded single, driving in two more runs.
Cameron's 12th homer, a shot estimated at 460 feet to center, broke a 6-6 tie in the sixth. After David Wright beat out an infield hit, Piazza doubled for another RBI.
With thunder and lightning cracking just beyond the right-field fence, the Brewers pushed across a run in the eighth on an error by left fielder Chris Woodward.
The Mets added a run in the eighth on Jose Offerman's two-out double, making it 9-7.
New York starter Kris Benson gave up six runs and 11 hits in five innings. Milwaukee's Doug Davis walked a career-high seven and departed in the fourth.
Beltran stranded two runners in two at-bats before connecting in the third. He came in batting .357 in day games, third-best in the NL. ... Woodward had three hits. ... Three Brewers were hit by pitches.