7,459: Sac-fly by Chavez lifts Mets over Brewers in 10

Endy Chavez hit a deep fly ball to right in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday night to sacrifice home Daniel Murphy and lead the Mets to a 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

After being held scoreless from the fourth through the ninth innings, the Mets led off the top of the 10th with a base hit up the middle by Murphy. Reyes laid down a perfect bunt to move Murphy to second, then ran hard to first and knocked the ball out of the hand of Rickie Weeks, letting Murphy advance to third.

Reliever Luis Ayala was called upon to save the game, but once again the Mets would provide no relaxing finish to us Mets fans.

Ayala got the first two outs before yielding a double down the right field line to Brad Nelson. After walking pinch-hitter Gabe Kapler, Ayala struck out Weeks to end the game (though not before Weeks poked a liner just left of third base that was inches away from being a game-winning double).

Weeks (4-for-6 on the night) led off the game with a rude greeting for Mets starter Jon Niese, welcoming the rookie lefthander to the Majors by hitting his second pitch over the left-centerfield fence. Niese, filling a spot in the Mets’ rotation with John Maine on the DL, threw a down-and-in fastball that Weeks blasted into the stands, marking the 51st time a leadoff homer has killed a potential Mets no-hitter.

Consider this: Before 2008 that happened 44 times in Mets history, so the average is less than once a year. Tuesday night was the seventh time it has happened this season – way over the annual average! Weeks’ homer advanced our NoNoHitters.com count up to 7,459 games without a no-hitter.

Niese, who went 5-1 with a 3.40 ERA in seven starts for the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs before his call-up, settled down in the first to get out of the inning down only a run, and the Mets gave him a 2-1 lead in the top of the second on a walk, two hits and an RBI ground out. Mets left fielder Nick Evans provided some defensive help by chasing down a long fly ball to the fence in the bottom of the second.

Carlos Beltran upped the Mets’ lead in the third inning with a three-run home run that knocked in Evans and David Wright.

Niese fell into trouble in the top of the fourth, giving up a single, back-to-back doubles and two more singles, resulting in three runs. Reliever Nelson Figueroa gave up an RBI single (the run was charged to Niese), but Beltran threw a strike to catcher Robinson Cancel just ahead of baserunner J.J. Hardy to keep the game tied at 5.

The Mets bullpen held the Brewers scoreless for seven innings.

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