Francisco Rodriguez blew his first second save of the second Thursday night (Castillo’s dropped popup was the first) as the Mets wasted a strong start by Livan Hernandez with a 5-4 loss at Camden Yards.
After Matt Wieters led off the inning with a double, K-Rod walked Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts laid down a bunt in an attempt to advance the runners. Mets’ catcher Omir Santos grabbed the ball and threw a strike to third, but pinch runner Felix Pie beat out the throw to load the bases with no outs.
Rodriguez walked Adam Jones to tie the game, and after a strikeout, Huff lined a single to right for the walk-off win.
Hernandez pitched 7 innings, giving up two earned runs on eight hits and one walk. He lost his no-hitter in the second inning when Melvin Mora singled to right center field, advancing our NoNoHitters.com county to 7,545 New York Mets games without a no-no.
Orioles starter Jason Berken stymied the Mets early, holding them to no runs on just one hit through five, as Berken’s offense built him a 2-0 lead. Mets second-baseman Luis Castillo helped limit the damage by snagging a Huff bases-loaded liner to end the fifth inning.
David Wright got the Mets on the scoreboard in the sixth by hitting a sacrifice fly to score Alex Cora (who led off the inning with a single), and Ryan Church knocked home Carlos Beltran with a single to right to tie the game at 2.
Cora again started a rally in the seventh by singling and stealing second. Daniel Murphy knocked him in with a double, and Beltran singled Murphy home to make it 4-2.
The O’s fought back for a run in the bottom of the eighth. After Aubrey Huff doubled to right off Pedro Feliciano, Mora moved him over to third with a single off Sean Green. Luke Scott hit a ball into the hole between first and second, but Castillo made a diving grab and threw to first for a key out, although Huff was able to score. Green struck out former Met Ty Wigginton on a sweet breaking ball to preserve the Mets’ lead and send it to the ninth.
We won’t rehash the ninth again.