Mets Sweep Orioles, Prepare For Crosstown Series
Coming off a dominant performance by knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey in the first contest of a three-game set, the New York Mets kept rolling to win two more against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field.
The pitching staff was again the star for the Mets on Wednesday. Johan Santana fired six shutout innings in his second appearance since pitching a no-hitter two weeks before. Relievers Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch finished off the 5-0 victory.
On offense, Daniel Murphy gave New York a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, and Lucas Duda's sixth-inning blast gave his team a three-run cushion. Santana was awarded his fifth win of the year; Baltimore's Tommy Hunter, who was charged with all five New York runs, took the loss.
In Wednesday's series finale, right-hander Dillon Gee came through with another gem for New York. He tied a career high with nine strikeouts and cruised through seven scoreless innings before the Orioles finally plated their first two runs of the series in the eighth.
Parnell came in to finish off the eighth inning with limited damage. Working with a two-run lead in the ninth, closer Frank Francisco made things interesting by surrendering a run on two hits and two walks but still managed to collect his 17th save of the year.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Mets (38-32) are now just 3.5 games behind first-place Washington. They will wrap up their home stand with a three-game set against the Yankees this weekend.
Yankees Drop Two To Braves
The New York Yankees' winning streak came to an end at 10 games with Tuesday's loss to the Atlanta Braves.
After a run of four strong starts, right-hander Hiroki Kuroda struggled against the Braves' bats, surrendering four runs on six hits and three walks. The Yankees managed to plate three of their own in the first four innings, but Jason Heyward's RBI single in the sixth gave Atlanta a 4-3 lead that held up through the end of the game.
Wednesday's series finale was a high-flying, high-scoring affair: The Yankees and Braves combined to hit nine home runs, including two off the bat of Heyward. Unfortunately for New York fans, all four of the Bombers' home runs came with the bases empty, while Atlanta managed to score seven runs via the big fly and 10 overall.
Phil Hughes took the brunt of the Braves' outburst, giving up six runs in just 4.1 innings of work. Braves starter Tommy Hanson surrendered four in five innings but still managed to pick up his eighth win of the year.
Despite those losses, the Yankees (41-27) still lead the American League East by 2.5 games.
They will wrap up interleague play with three games at Citi Field this weekend before returning to Yankee Stadium for a seven-game home stand.