Sports

Ethier’ Hitting Streak Snapped At 30 Games

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jim McIsaac)

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Turner was the latest Mets role player to come through with a big hit.

His long, pinch-hit single snapped an eighth-inning tie and the New York Mets stopped Andre Ethier’s hitting streak at 30 games Saturday night in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It felt good to get a fastball and not miss it,” Turner said. “I hit it pretty good, but at Citi Field, who knows what’s going to happen out there, if it’s going to hang up or not. Lucky for me, it hit off the tip of his glove.”

Emergency starter Dillon Gee pitched effectively into the sixth and Jason Pridie had a career-high three hits — one night after his three-run homer sent the Mets to a 6-3 victory in the series opener.

Streaky all season, New York has won three straight since losing five of six. The Mets have won seven of their last nine at home.

Ethier went 0-for-4 with a first-inning walk. His final chance for a hit came in the eighth, but he struck out swinging at a pitch well off the plate with a runner on first.

Ethier was more upset by his poor at-bat than the end of the streak.

“That last at-bat was a tough out, swinging at the chase pitch,” he said.

Ethier fell one game shy of the Dodgers record set by Willie Davis, who had a 31-game hitting streak in 1969.

The previous three major leaguers with 30-game hitting streaks also failed to reach 31: Ryan Zimmerman (2009), Moises Alou (2007) and Willy Taveras (2006). The last player to surpass 30 was Chase Utley (35) in 2006.

Jason Bay started the eighth with a walk against Mike MacDougal (0-1) before Hong-Chih Kuo came in and retired Ike Davis on a popup. Mets manager Terry Collins had Pridie drop down a sacrifice bunt, but Kuo threw the ball over the head of first baseman James Loney for an error that left runners at first and second.

Matt Guerrier walked pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to load the bases for Turner, whose drive to deep center was almost caught on the run by Matt Kemp. The ball glanced off his glove as he sprinted toward the wall and tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch.

Paulino appeared to have an obstructed view and he retreated toward first base before Turner shoved him to keep from passing him on the bases. That held Turner to a single, and Paulino stopped at second.

The near gaffe didn’t overshadow another big night by the Mets’ role players.

“The one thing that every team needs is those guys on that bench to come off and give you some good at-bats or, when they’re in the game, you have confidence they’re going to get the job done,” Collins said. “Those two guys have certainly done that. Ronny has been a great addition to us. J.T., he keeps himself ready, he’s one of those guys that watches the game very closely and prepares himself. He’s made our bench better.”

Tim Byrdak (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for his first win with the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez got three quick outs for his third save in three days. It was his ninth save in 10 chances – and his first 1-2-3 inning this season.

The Mets ran themselves out of a scoring chance in the seventh on Jose Reyes’ second baserunning blunder of the night.

“My baserunning today was terrible,” Reyes said.

The Dodgers left 14 on base and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, falling a season-worst four games below .500 at 15-19.

Mets scheduled starter Chris Young was scratched shortly before the game began after he had trouble warming up. General manager Sandy Alderson said Young had tightness in his right shoulder and would have an MRI exam Sunday.

His shoulder was “not to the point where I could let it go 100 percent,” Young said.

“Even 90 percent wasn’t going to be possible,” he added.

The Mets plan to have lefty reliever Pat Misch fly to New York in case a roster move needs to be made on Sunday.

Gee held the Dodgers to one run through five innings, but was yanked after allowing the tying run with one out in the sixth. He hit two batters with pitches in the first two innings.

“I wasn’t as good as the outcome,” Gee said. “I got pretty lucky tonight.”

The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the second on Josh Thole’s sacrifice fly and Reyes’ single to center.

Dodgers starter Jon Garland gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.

Los Angeles got one back in the fourth when Dioner Navarro homered, and tied it in the sixth when Aaron Miles singled in Jamey Carroll after a leadoff double.

Notes:
-Citi Field was known as a pitcher’s park in its first two seasons, but 37 homers were hit there this season entering Saturday, third in the NL behind Chase Field in Phoenix (52) and Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati (51).
-Navarro picked off an inattentive Reyes at first with an easy, looping throw to end the second.
-Clips from “Seinfeld” were shown on the big screen all night. After Wright’s double in the fifth, character Kenny Bania was shown saying “That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!”

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