Royals top Mets, 4-3, in 12 innings
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It seems as though even silver linings for the Mets can be somewhat blurred.
Saturday began with news that third baseman David Wright would be placed on the 15-day disabled list after straining a hamstring in Friday night's extra-inning victory.
And Saturday's game brought more late action and extra-inning drama at Citi Field . . . but ended with another undesirable result.
Josh Satin, batting third in Wright's usual spot in the order, hit a tying two-run single in the eighth, but pinch hitter Justin Maxwell's 12th-inning homer gave the Royals a 4-3 win.
Relievers Gonzalez Germen, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison and Scott Rice pitched five perfect innings, but David Aardsma (2-1) surrendered the line-drive homer by Maxwell, which sailed a few feet inside the leftfield foul pole.
"I just have to execute my pitches and I didn't do that," said Aardsma, who also blew a save in the ninth inning Friday. "I got behind [Maxwell] and gave him a pitch to hit."
With the Mets down 3-1, pinch hitter Andrew Brown led off the eighth with a single and got to second on a passed ball. He moved to third on Juan Lagares' one-out infield single before Lagares stole second, setting up Satin (2-for-5). He hit a sharp grounder through the middle that drove in both runs off reliever Aaron Crow.
Kelvin Herrera (4-5) got the win for the Royals (55-52) after pitching three scoreless innings of relief. The Mets fell to 49-59.
Satin's hit took Jeremy Hefner off the hook for what would have been his third straight loss. He was moved up from his scheduled start Sunday in place of Carlos Torres, who pitched in relief Friday night.
Hefner dominated in June, but his ERA since the All-Star break is 12.34. Five of the six innings he pitched were scoreless, but he struggled in the third, when the Royals quickly erased Daniel Murphy's second-inning solo home run.
George Kottaras led off with a solo homer to right and pitcher Bruce Chen, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer followed with successive singles to load the bases. Alex Gordon's long sacrifice fly and Miguel Tejada's single made it 3-1.
"I'm still not where I want to be," Hefner said. "I made some mistakes that can be corrected . . . I hung a curveball to a pitcher and he put it down the line, then I couldn't stop it after that."
Hefner gave up eight hits, walked none and struck out six in the no-decision. He threw 78 of his 110 pitches for strikes.
"He settled in and got as far as he could," manager Terry Collins said. "But we didn't get much offense."
Justin Turner, starting at third base in place of Wright, went 1-for-4 with a walk.
The Mets' offense was mostly held in check by Chen, a journeyman (and one-time Met) having a revival season. Chen allowed a run and four hits in six innings, walking none and striking out eight.
The Mets didn't mount a threat in extra innings. Marlon Byrd walked in the 11th, but the inning ended on a strikeout-throwout double play with Murphy at the plate. The game ended on Omar Quintanilla's strikeout.
Hefner found a silver lining, then reminded all of the bottom line.
"It is encouraging to throw a quality start out there . . . and the guys battled back to tie it," he said. "But we didn't win, and that's the ultimate goal."