|Tampa Bay (37-34) «||0||0||0||0||4||0||4||2||0||10||17||0|
|N.Y. Mets (34-33)||0||2||0||0||0||3||1||0||0||6||10||1|
NEW YORK -- Forget about the hip-hop and hard rock that reverberates through most big league clubhouses after an important win. The Tampa Bay Rays opted for something a little more fitting of a soggy Sunday.
"I can see clearly now," Johnny Nash's voice blared through a small stereo stuffed inside a locker, "the rain is gone."
B.J. Upton homered and matched a career high with four RBI, Carl Crawford drove in a pair of runs and the Rays awoke from an offensive slumber with a 10-6 victory over the New York Mets, taking a road series twice interrupted by rain.
"When B.J. gets going, it gives guys a little more confidence," said Evan Longoria, who, like Upton, had four hits. "It was just one of those days where we felt pretty locked in."
The highest-scoring team in the majors managed only three runs in each of its last four games, but got four in the fifth inning and four more in the seventh, when Upton's two-run shot off Bobby Parnell (2-3) helped the Rays regain a lead they'd squandered an inning earlier.
"That ball was properly struck," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, adding an "Uff!" for emphasis.
Joe Nelson (2-0) won despite allowing a run for the first time in his last nine appearances, while the New York bullpen dropped to 1-7 in June.
The top three spots in the Rays order combined to go 11 for 16 with seven RBI. A little further down, Jason Bartlett had a pair of hits and Gabe Kapler drove in two runs.
Brian Schneider hit a three-run homer and streaky David Wright added three hits for the Mets, who have won only one series this month, against last-place Washington.
"I felt that offensively we could still score on their bullpen," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "I was obviously wrong about that."
To make matters worse for Mets fans, a light sprinkle turned into a deluge that halted play for 34 minutes and sent them scurrying for the concourses -- and in many cases the exits. That came after a 73-minute delay during a 3-1 Rays win the night before.
The Mets led 2-0 before Upton's two-run double in the fifth, and Crawford followed with a two-run single for the fifth consecutive hit off ineffective Mets starter Mike Pelfrey. He escaped the inning before getting pulled for a pinch hitter.
"If you don't execute your pitches, they're going to hurt you," Pelfrey said.
Maddon also turned to his bullpen early, yanking Jeff Niemann after four innings and 78 pitches -- and with good reason. Tampa Bay relievers had allowed only two runs in their last 33 1/3 innings.
So much for that statistic.
Wright doubled into the gap in right-center leading off the sixth, and Ryan Church drew a one-out walk. Schneider followed with his second three-run homer of the series, a liner off the overhang in right that gave New York a short-lived 5-4 lead.
"It was good to get a little redemption for myself," Schneider said. "But what I'm really trying to do is just have a good at-bat."
The Rays know about hitting long balls too, getting homers from Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist in Saturday's win. Upton provided the power this time, driving a 2-1 pitch from Parnell out to left in the seventh inning, and Longoria and Kapler drove in two more runs after that to make it 8-5.
"I just happened to put the barrel out quick enough," said Upton, whose homer was only the second to land in the second deck in left at expansive Citi Field, according to hittracker.com. Carlos Beltran also did it May 9 against Pittsburgh.
"B.J.'s home run was magnificent," Maddon said. "Again, you get that momentum coming back your way and we just worked our way through it after that."
Plate umpire Jerry Crawford left in the second inning with lower back pain. First base umpire Scott Barry finished behind the plate. ... Mets catchers have 48 RBI, tops among NL catchers. ... Rays LHP Scott Kazmir (right quad strain) plans to throw 85 pitches in a rehab start for Triple-A Durham on Monday. ... Mets starters John Maine (right shoulder weakness) and Oliver Perez (patella tendinitis) each plan to start in a doubleheader Monday for Class A St. Lucie.
|Players of the Game|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|B.J. Upton, CF||6||3||4||4||0||2||0||.240|
|Carl Crawford, LF||5||2||3||2||0||0||1||.307|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||5||1||4||1||0||1||0||.309|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||0||0||1||1||1||3||.235|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||9||.293|
|Gabe Gross, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.266|
|a- Gabe Kapler, PH-RF||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||.237|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||4||1||2||0||1||1||2||.373|
|Dioner Navarro, C||5||1||1||0||0||1||4||.218|
|Jeff Niemann, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Willy Aybar, PH||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Lance Cormier, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Nelson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Pat Burrell, PH||2||1||1||0||0||0||3||.240|
|Randy Choate, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Grant Balfour, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Andy Sonnanstine, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.273|
|J.P. Howell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for Gross in the 7th|
|b-singled for Niemann in the 5th|
|c-singled for Nelson in the 7th|
|d-struck out for Balfour in the 9th|
|2B - B.J. Upton (14, Pelfrey), Evan Longoria 2 (23, Pelfrey, Parnell), Gabe Kapler (9, Takahashi)|
|HR - B.J. Upton (5, Parnell)|
|SF - Gabe Kapler (2)|
|RBI - B.J. Upton 4 (24), Carl Crawford 2 (32), Evan Longoria (61), Carlos Pena (52), Gabe Kapler 2 (18)|
|CS - Carl Crawford (5, 3rd base by Pelfrey/Schneider)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Gabe Gross 1|
|PB - Dioner Navarro (4)|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Joe Nelson (BS,1; W,2-0)||0.2||1||1||1||0||1||1||4.70|
|Randy Choate (H,1)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||0||1.93|
|Grant Balfour (H,9)||1.2||1||0||0||0||3||0||5.01|
|WP - Jeff Niemann (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Niemann 78-40, Lance Cormier 21-11, Joe Nelson 9-7, Randy Choate 18-11, Grant Balfour 31-18, J.P. Howell 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Niemann 6-4, Lance Cormier 1-2, Randy Choate 1-0, Grant Balfour 1-1, J.P. Howell 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Niemann 17, Lance Cormier 7, Joe Nelson 3, Randy Choate 3, Grant Balfour 6, J.P. Howell 4|
|New York Mets|
|Alex Cora, 2B||4||0||1||0||1||0||0||.283|
|Daniel Murphy, 1B||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.250|
|Carlos Beltran, CF||4||0||2||0||1||0||1||.336|
|David Wright, 3B||5||2||3||0||0||0||2||.349|
|Gary Sheffield, LF||3||1||1||1||1||0||1||.276|
|Ryan Church, RF||3||1||0||0||1||1||3||.276|
|Brian Schneider, C||4||1||1||3||0||0||2||.245|
|Wilson Valdez, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.208|
|Mike Pelfrey, P||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.190|
|a- Nick Evans, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Brian Stokes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Fernando Tatis, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.256|
|Bobby Parnell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ken Takahashi, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Sean Green, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Jeremy Reed, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.294|
|Jon Switzer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Pelfrey in the 5th|
|b-struck out for Stokes in the 6th|
|c-struck out for Feliciano in the 8th|
|2B - Daniel Murphy (7, Cormier), David Wright (21, Cormier), Gary Sheffield (7, Niemann)|
|HR - Brian Schneider (2, Nelson)|
|RBI - Gary Sheffield (26), Brian Schneider 3 (13), Mike Pelfrey (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Pelfrey (2)|
|CS - Alex Cora (2, 2nd base by Niemann/Navarro)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Cora-Valdez-Murphy|
|E - Mike Pelfrey (2, Throwing)|
|New York Mets|
|Bobby Parnell (BS,3; L,2-3)||0||4||4||4||0||0||1||5.00|
|IBB - Bartlett by Ken Takahashi|
|HBP - Pena (by Ken Takahashi)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 88-54, Brian Stokes 13-8, Bobby Parnell 22-12, Ken Takahashi 29-14, Sean Green 12-6, Pedro Feliciano 23-12, Jon Switzer 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 8-3, Brian Stokes 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 23, Brian Stokes 3, Bobby Parnell 4, Ken Takahashi 6, Sean Green 3, Pedro Feliciano 4, Jon Switzer 3|
|Attendance - 38791|
|Game Time - 3:55|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion|