7,519: Beaucoup balks, no bats as Mets can’t complete sweep

Gettin’ balky wit it

Mike Pelfrey balked three times, and two of those advancing runners wound up scoring Sunday night as the Giants avoided a sweep by topping the Mets 2-0.

After Pablo Sandoval slapped a two-out single to left in the first inning (making it 7,519 New York Mets games without a no-hitter), Pelfrey caught his front foot and stumbled when while holding onto the ball. The umpire sent Sandoval to second and Bengie Molina followed with a singled to left to make it 1-0 Giants.

After Aaron Rowand led off the fifth with a single, he was able to take second after Pelfrey stepped off the rubber after starting his wind-up. He advanced to third on a ground out before Giants pitcher Matt Cain singled him home after bailing on a suicide squeeze attempt.

A third Pelfrey balk in the sixth, in which he again interrupted his wind-up, put two runners in scoring damage but resulted in no permandent damage as he was able to pitch out of the jam. Other than the balks, Pelfrey put in a quality start, giving up just two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two.

But the Mets’ bats were painfully cold, and the team could manage just five hits.

Their best offensive chance to tie the game came (and went) in the eighth when Luis Castillo drew a lead-off walk and Carlos Beltran lined a double into the left field wall. After Gary Sheffield struck out, the Giants intentionally walked David Wright and Mets manager Jerry Manuel decided to send in the recently called-up Angel Pagan to pinch hit.

Pagan grounded a low pitch to short for the double play and the inning was over.

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