Mets tag Pirates with 11-inning defeat
NEW YORK -- If there had been as much life in the Pirates' bats Tuesday as there was in John Van Benschoten's knees and Freddy Sanchez's arm, things might have turned out differently.
But the Pirates stranded 11 runners, while the New York Mets capitalized on an error and a balk to steal a 5-4 victory in 11 innings.
Van Benschoten (0-1) took the loss in his first appearance after being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Endy Chavez began the 11th with a single to center on an 0-2 pitch and went to second on a balk.
"I asked the second base umpire and he said I flinched my knees," Van Benschoten said. "I thought I stepped off, I don't know. It was a tough call."
From his vantage point in the dugout, Pirates manager John Russell could see the ump made the right call.
"(Van Benschoten) started to move, stopped, then tried to step off," Russell said. "If it's one continuous motion, then he can step off. But he stopped."
Marlon Anderson sacrificed Chavez to third. Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo walked, loading the bases.
David Wright hit a fly ball to deep right field. The ball landed fair by about a foot, and Chavez scored on the single.
Jorge Sosa (3-1) tossed one scoreless inning for the win.
Mets left-hander ace Johan Santana (4-2) went 52⁄3 innings and gave up two hits -- solo homers by Nate McLouth and Jason Bay.
With the score tied, 2-2, in the fifth, Chavez singled and scored on Reyes' triple to right-center. Luis Castillo walked.
With one out and runners on the corners, the Pirates played their infield back at double-play depth.
The gambit appeared a wise move, as Wright hit an easy roller to shortstop Chris Gomez, who made a smooth underhand flip to Freddy Sanchez.
But Sanchez never controlled the ball, and it rolled up his arm and dropped onto the grass. Everyone was safe, and the Mets got another run.
"I tried to be too quick," Sanchez said. "It was one of those mistakes that happens at the wrong time. I've got to be able to make that play."
The Pirates pulled within a run in the eighth, thanks more to Duaner Sanchez's generosity than anything they did at the plate.
Gomez singled, and Sanchez doubled. After Bay struck out, Xavier Nady walked, loading the bases.
Adam LaRoche, who's is hitting .171, walked on five pitches to force in a run.
But Jose Bautista hit a bouncer to third, and Sanchez was forced out at the plate. Ronny Paulino, ignoring the fact that Sanchez was having control problems, jumped on the first pitch and popped out.
"We had lots of opportunities to score, but we just can't get that big hit," Russell said. "Somebody wants to step up and get that big hit, but then he starts pressing, trying to do too much. We've got to stay with our approach, not get too big and be overaggressive."
Mets closer Billy Wagner gave up an unearned run in the ninth. It was his first blown save in seven chances this season.
Ryan Doumit reached on a throwing error by Reyes and went to second on a wild pitch. Doumit scored on Sanchez's two-out single to center and sent the game into extra innings.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Morton to start Tuesday against Red Sox
- Pitt notebook: Expanded game plan likely awaits Iowa
- Rossi: Melancon change good for Pirates
- Biertempfel: In wild-card game, Cole must get call
- Bucs’ rally falls short vs. young Cubs
- Pirates notebook: Holdzkom’s wild ride continues
- Rare triple play sparks Pirates’ comeback victory over Cubs