The Mets offense staged a rare explosion Wednesday afternoon in Oakland, plating eight runs to earn a split of the two-game set against the A’s.
Eric Campbell got things started in the third with a leadoff home run. With two outs Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy singled. David Wright walked to load the bases. Jeff Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch to score Granderson. Lucas Duda then connected with a three-run homer to give the Mets a 5-0 lead.
But the A’s did not curl up and die like some other team we know when they get in a hole. With two outs Zack Wheeler walked Eric Sogard. Coco Crisp doubled to score Sogard and advanced to third on a throwing error by Murphy. Crisp scored on a double to make it a 5-2 game.
The Mets got the runs back in the top of the fourth. With Eric Young on first and Wilmer Flores on second, again with two outs, Granderson singled to score Flores. Murphy made up for his error with a single to score Young as the Mets built a 6-2 lead.
But Murphy taketh away again in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on second and third with, you guessed it, two outs, Murphy botched an easy grounder. Both runners scored to cut the Mets lead to 7-4.
Flores singled with runners on first and third with two outs (!) in the fifth to make it an 8-4 game.
Wheeler, who has been on such a hot streak lately, picked a good time to have a somewhat off game. Terry Collins pulled a clearly unhappy Wheeler with two outs in the sixth when he reached 103 pitches. He went six innings, allowing four runs (two earned, thanks Daniel Murphy) on four hits. He struck out three and walked three. Still though, Wheeler won his sixth straight decision, moving his record above .500 at 9-8.
But of course, it is never easy for the Mets. With one out Vic Black walked Brandon Moss. Josh Reddick hit a grounder that could have been an inning-ending double play. Instead Duda booted it and runners were on first and second. Another walk loaded the bases. Jeurys Familia came on and walked Sam Fuld to force in a run to make it 8-5. He struck out Andy Parrino for the second out. Josh Donaldson, the A’s best hitter, was next. He hit a hot shot to short. Flores bobbled it but was able to pick it up and just throw out Donaldson to end the threat.
Familia stayed on and closed out the game for his fourth save of the season.
Mets win 8-5. Now it is on to sunny Los Angeles. Lucky stiffs!