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Lightly used Recker twice delivers

4/13/2014

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anthony Recker twice produced heroics in the Mets' 7-6, 13-inning win against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

First, Recker delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh. Then, after Jose Valverde had blown a save, Recker delivered again in the 13th, with a game-deciding solo homer against Matt Shoemaker.

Recker entered the game with only five plate appearances on the season, as Terry Collins primarily uses Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate.

Recker acknowledged it is challenging to stay sharp given his lack of usage.

"It always is, but I'm trying to work every day and make sure I do something to have a good feeling and feel like I'm getting better," he said. "So far, hopefully, it's working. And hopefully it keeps working."

As for the home run, Recker added: "When he threw me the two sliders -- one for a strike, one for a ball -- not that I was necessarily looking for a fastball completely, but I just kind of thought, 'All right, now would be a good time for him to pop a fastball in there. If he throws a slider, I've seen it twice, so I know what to expect.' I kind of was sitting a little more 'dead red' than I normally would, looking for the fastball."

Recker -- who also had his first career big-league stolen base -- was not the only bench player with a big moment. Omar Quintanilla, similarly hitless on the season entering Saturday, went 3-for-6 with two RBIs in his first 2014 start. Quintanilla had staked the Mets to a three-run lead in the top of the ninth.

"That's what you hope happens when you give those guys a chance to play and get them in there and they give somebody else a day off -- that they rise to the occasion and get fired up because they're playing," Collins said. "They came up big."