Jerry Manuel saw potential in Daniel Murphy when he moved him from leftfield to first base this season, but not even Manuel could explain how Murphy threw behind his back to get Mark Loretta out in the seventh inning.

"I didn't know what happened on that play, to be honest with you," Manuel said. "When the guy called him out, I just said, 'Hooray.' "

With one out and the bases empty, Loretta hit a ground ball down the first-base line that hit the base and popped high into the air toward second base. Murphy, who originally was running toward first, had to reverse direction and move quickly to his right. He picked the ball off the dirt with his right hand and flipped it behind his back to pitcher Bobby Parnell, who was covering the bag. The first-base umpire called Loretta out on an extremely close play.

"Bobby makes a great play and keeps coming right there," Murphy said. "If he shuts it down then I'm flipping it to Jerry probably."

Loretta wasn't speaking as glowingly about the play.

"Pretty lousy luck, really," Loretta said. "I don't think I've seen that sequence of events. Pretty bizarre. I think it was bang-bang. Could have gone either way. That was as unlucky as I've been on a baseball field in my career."

Murphy also had a strong night offensively, going 2-for-4 with two doubles. It was the first time since May 27 that he had two extra-base hits in a game.

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"I just squared the ball up," Murphy said. "I felt like I had four good at-bats today. I had two doubles, I just missed a ball to left-center and hit a hard ground ball to the second baseman."

Coming into last night's game, Murphy had 14 extra-base hits in 224 at-bats this season. Last season he had the same total in just 131 at-bats.

The loss of power has been a bit of a concern for Murphy and Mets. In his minor-league career, Murphy had a slugging percentage of .444 and collected 91 extra-base hits in 259 games. Before last night's game, Murphy's slugging percentage was .397 with the Mets, including only 28 extra-base hits in 126 games.

Although Murphy is focused on getting that power back, he is more concerned with doing whatever he can to help the team get back on track.

"If I'm in there, I'll be ready to play," he said. "If I'm not, I'll be ready for a big pinch hit."