|N.Y. Mets (44-34) «||3||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||6||10||0|
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The New York Mets brought their road troubles to the tropics, yet still were able to leave Puerto Rico with a much-needed victory.
In the locker room at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, there were no high-fives and few smiles after the Mets won the final game of their Caribbean trip, beating the Florida Marlins 6-5 Wednesday night.
"We didn't do many things right, but it's good we were able to salvage one in a close game like this. We're definitely glad to get out with the win," said David Wright, who doubled twice and drove in two runs.
Francisco Rodriguez got four outs for his 18th save in 21 chances. He struck out pinch-hitter Brian Barden with runners at first and third to end the game, sending fireworks into the sky above the ballpark.
The Marlins lost despite outhitting New York 17-10. Every Florida starter except pitcher Chris Volstad had at least two hits.
The Mets, who have more Puerto Rican players than any other big-league team, were the crowd favorite at the cozy stadium. And after waiting out a rain delay of nearly 1½ hours at the beginning, the Mets gave the sellout crowd of 19,232 what they were waiting for during the three-game series.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he thinks his team was "a little excitable" to play in Puerto Rico, especially those players with family and friends on the Spanish-speaking U.S. island.
"I think coming here led to some anxious moments. But it's good to get the win tonight, and I think this series was good for Puerto Rico," Manuel said.
The Mets, who have struggled on the road all season, ended a streak of four straight losses away from Citi Field.
Wright, who leads the National League with 63 RBI, helped the Mets score three times in the first. Jesus Feliciano led off with a double, Ruben Tejada reached on an error by first baseman Gaby Sanchez, and Wright doubled them home. Wright scored on a hard single by Ike Davis.
The Marlins were hoping to cap their three-game stay with a sweep. Even so, it was a productive stay at their sometimes home, as the team found stability with manager Edwin Rodriguez -- the Marlins took off the interim tag Tuesday and said he'll lead them the rest of the year.
After Wednesday's narrow loss, Rodriguez, the first Puerto Rico-born manager in the major leagues, said he was proud of the way his team fought to the very end.
"I think it was a good ending, other than the loss. We played very, very well. And the series overall was definitely exciting," said Rodriguez, whose offseason home is about a five-minute drive "with traffic" away from Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
Florida won the first two games of the tropical series that was moved by Major League Baseball in March from Miami, where the Marlins draw sparse crowds, to Puerto Rico.
But the Marlins' night also included four errors. The costliest came in the seventh inning, when Wright reached first on a wild throw by third baseman Jorge Cantu. That helped set up Bay's RBI single.
Cantu made two errors and later left the game, shortly after stretching far for a popup, because of dizziness.
Mets starter Mike Pelfrey was tagged for 12 hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings. It took the right-hander 40 pitches to get through the first inning, when he gave up two runs.
Elmer Dessens (2-1) got one out for the win.
In the fifth, Uggla slid along the turf and somehow grabbed a grounder by Feliciano, then threw out the speedster. In the sixth, after the Mets loaded the bases, shortstop Hanley Ramirez caught a liner by Feliciano for an unassisted double play.
Scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m., the game did not begin until 8:30 p.m. due to a passing thunderstorm. Fans in slickers soaked up the festive atmosphere, many arriving with cameras or baseballs to get signed. Rodriguez was a top attraction for local autograph seekers.
In the cozy stadium's corridors, musicians played trumpets and drums as women twirled in red dresses with men wearing straw hats. Dancers maneuvered on stilts, while a few performers in horned "vejigante" masks and ruffled costumes entertained the crowds.
Also thrilling the fans was former New York Yankees All-Star center fielder Bernie Williams, who played renditions of both the U.S. and Puerto Rican anthems on electric guitar for his fellow islanders.
|The Mets walk off the field in Puerto Rico after salvaging the finale of a three-game set. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Mets|
|Jesus Feliciano, CF||5||1||2||1||0||1||3||.262|
|Ruben Tejada, SS||4||2||1||0||0||2||0||.269|
|David Wright, 3B||5||1||2||2||0||1||2||.311|
|Ike Davis, 1B||5||0||1||1||0||1||4||.261|
|Jason Bay, LF||5||1||1||1||0||2||2||.275|
|Chris Carter, RF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.242|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Rod Barajas, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.244|
|Alex Cora, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.227|
|Mike Pelfrey, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.133|
|Elmer Dessens, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Josh Thole, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.500|
|Ryota Igarashi, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Bobby Parnell, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Francisco Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-singled for Dessens in the 6th|
|2B - Jesus Feliciano (3, Volstad), David Wright 2 (24, Volstad, Volstad), Alex Cora (4, Volstad)|
|RBI - Jesus Feliciano (2), David Wright 2 (63), Ike Davis (34), Jason Bay (36), Josh Thole (2)|
|SB - Jesus Feliciano (1, 2nd base off Volstad/Paulino)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Tejada-Cora-Davis|
|New York Mets|
|Elmer Dessens (W,2-1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.63|
|Ryota Igarashi (H,2)||1||1||0||0||0||3||0||8.15|
|Bobby Parnell (H,2)||1.2||2||1||1||1||1||0||1.35|
|Francisco Rodriguez (S,18)||1.1||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.01|
|IBB - H. Ramirez by Bobby Parnell|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 108-73, Elmer Dessens 5-3, Ryota Igarashi 23-14, Bobby Parnell 24-13, Francisco Rodriguez 19-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 9-1, Elmer Dessens 1-0, Bobby Parnell 2-2, Francisco Rodriguez 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 26, Elmer Dessens 1, Ryota Igarashi 4, Bobby Parnell 8, Francisco Rodriguez 6|
|Chris Coghlan, LF||4||2||2||0||1||2||1||.282|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||5||0||2||1||0||1||4||.307|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||2||2||1||1||1||1||.296|
|Jorge Cantu, 3B||4||1||2||1||0||2||1||.268|
|a- Wes Helms, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.252|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||5||0||2||2||0||0||1||.265|
|Cody Ross, CF||5||0||2||0||0||0||2||.297|
|Ronny Paulino, C||5||0||3||0||0||0||2||.306|
|Brett Hayes, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.190|
|Mike Stanton, RF||5||0||2||0||0||1||1||.230|
|Chris Volstad, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.130|
|b- Mike Lamb, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.167|
|Alex Sanabia, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Veras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Emilio Bonifacio, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Tim Wood, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Taylor Tankersley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brian Sanches, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Brian Barden, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.185|
|a-flied out for Cantu in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Volstad in the 5th|
|c-grounded out for Veras in the 8th|
|d-struck out for Sanches in the 9th|
|2B - Chris Coghlan (19, Pelfrey), Gaby Sanchez (19, Parnell), Jorge Cantu (21, Pelfrey)|
|SH - Chris Volstad 2 (6)|
|RBI - Gaby Sanchez (37), Hanley Ramirez (51), Jorge Cantu (50), Dan Uggla 2 (46)|
|2-OUT RBI - Gaby Sanchez (12), Dan Uggla (15)|
|SB - Hanley Ramirez (15, 2nd base off Pelfrey/Barajas)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|DP - H. Ramirez|
|E - Jorge Cantu 2 (10, Misplayed grounder), Gaby Sanchez (7, Missed catch of throw), Dan Uggla (8, Misplayed grounder)|
|Alex Sanabia (L,0-1)||2||3||2||1||0||2||0||5.06|
|HBP - Tejada (by Alex Sanabia)|
|WP - Chris Volstad (7)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 80-53, Alex Sanabia 53-36, Jose Veras 14-8, Tim Wood 10-6, Taylor Tankersley 1-1, Brian Sanches 4-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 4-7, Alex Sanabia 4-2, Jose Veras 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 22, Alex Sanabia 12, Jose Veras 3, Tim Wood 2, Taylor Tankersley 1, Brian Sanches 1|
|Attendance - 19232|
|Game Time - 3:51|
|Temperature - 79|
|Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|