Lucas Duda's 3-run HR highlights Mets' offensive revival in win over A's

Mets leftfielder Eric Young Jr. catches a fly
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Mets leftfielder Eric Young Jr. catches a fly ball hit by the Oakland Athletics' Stephen Vogt in the first inning of their interleague baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Oakland, Calif.(Credit: AP / Eric Risberg)

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OAKLAND, Calif. - With their postseason chances all but extinguished, the only meaningful baseball ahead for the Mets will come as spoilers against teams with brighter days ahead.

The Mets thrived in that role Wednesday in an 8-5 win over the suddenly swooning A's, who have lost six of their last seven. The Mets enjoyed a rare offensive outburst and then repelled an eighth-inning rally.

Entering with the bases loaded, and the tying run at the plate in the eighth, reliever Jeurys Familia walked in a run before slamming the door.

Familia struck out Andy Parrino before getting a hard groundout by the dangerous Josh Donaldson, silencing the O.co Coliseum crowd.

In the ninth, with closer Jenrry Mejia out with a balky back, Familia returned to nail down his fourth save.

"Every time I go and pitch, I'm just trying to focus on my target, the catcher's glove," Familia said. "I don't pay attention to the fans or what they're saying."

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In their three previous games, the Mets' offense accounted for only four runs. But in one pivotal inning against the A's they eclipsed that run total. Eric Campbell hit a solo shot and Lucas Duda added a three-run blast in a five-run third.

A's righty Jeff Samardzija entered 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts at the Coliseum. But the Mets tagged him for seven runs in 32/3 innings.

"There were some big hits and some very good at-bats," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Zack Wheeler delivered another solid start for the Mets, who snapped their three-game losing streak. Wheeler allowed four runs -- two earned -- in 52/3 innings.

In the fourth, the righthander was hurt by the second of Daniel Murphy's two errors at second base, a gaffe that allowed a pair of unearned runs. Still, Wheeler upped his record to 9-8 while improving to 6-0 since June 30.

The Mets had not hit more than one homer in a game since Aug. 10 against the Phillies. But in the third, Duda and Campbell went deep.

After Campbell's solo shot, the Mets rallied with two outs, beginning with Curtis Granderson's soft single to third against the shift. Murphy followed with a single and David Wright walked. With the bases loaded, Samardzija threw a wild pitch to score Granderson. But his biggest mistake came against Duda, who sent a towering three-run shot over the 400-foot sign in straightaway centerfield.

Duda's team-leading 23rd homer gave the Mets a 5-0 lead.

For much of the season, the Mets have struggled to tack on runs. Not Wednesday. When the A's scored twice in the third on run-scoring doubles by Coco Crisp and John Jaso, the Mets answered with two runs in the fourth, on run-scoring singles from Granderson and Murphy.

In the fourth, the A's drew within 7-4 thanks to Murphy's error, which allowed a pair of runs to score. But the Mets made it 8-4 on Wilmer Flores' fifth-inning RBI single. "Our guys swung the bats good today," Collins said. "I just hope this is the start of the final six weeks of some good offensive nights."

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After an off day Thursday, the Mets begin a three-game series against the Dodgers, another team destined for October.

"It's something to build on," Duda said. "And it's something to go into L.A. feeling good about."

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