HEALTHY PERFORMANCE: Mike Pelfrey tossed a season-high 7 2/3 innings. He limited the Giants to two runs (one earned) and four hits while striking out five and walking two in a 116-pitch effort.
Pelfrey took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning, when Mike Fontenot delivered a two-out homer to pull the Giants within 3-1. Pelfrey allowed a second run, unearned, in the fifth. The inning began with Jose Reyes committing a throwing error, which placed Nate Schierholtz on second base. Opposing pitcher Jonathan Sanchez subsequently delivered a two-out RBI single.
It was Pelfrey’s first outing since he was knocked out in the fifth inning of a 10-3 loss at Philadelphia last Friday and Terry Collins questioned himself for not scratching the right-hander from the start and instead using Dillon Gee.
TRON: Carlos Beltran’s two-run homer in the fifth staked the Mets to a 5-2 lead. Beltran was playing his 19th straight game, with the Mets having abandoned the day-game-after-night-game rest of the early season. Beltran homered for the second time in the series and fifth time this season.
WILD SIDE: Sanchez walked four batters in the first inning at D.C. his last start, then hit two batters in his second inning in that outing. He was wild again Thursday afternoon. The southpaw consecutively issued two-out walks to No. 8 hitter Scott Hairston and Pelfrey in the second inning. Reyes followed with a two-run triple to the wall in left-center as the Mets built a 3-0 lead.
Sanchez’s final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 6 K.
THAT’S HU: Chin-lung Hu went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk in his first start since April 9. He is now 0-for-his-last-12 and has a .059 average this season. His lone hit came April 5 at Philadelphia, when he singled against Philadelphia’s J.C. Romero.
“I need to get him in a game,” Collins said about the reasoning for starting Hu in the game at second base.
K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez converted his seventh save and finished his ninth game with a four-out performance, although two walks and a single in the ninth loaded the bases with one out. Rodriguez then struck out Miguel Tejada and retired pinch-hitter Buster Posey to end it. K-Rod went to full counts on the first four batters of the ninth. He threw 42 pitches, narrowly shy of the career-high 47 he tossed last July in San Francisco. It was K-Rod’s second four-out save this season and 25th of more than one inning in his career.
He needs 46 games finished in the Mets’ remaining 131 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012. K-Rod is on pace for 47 games finished, eight shy of reaching the milestone that triggers that contract clause.
WHAT’S NEXT: Don Mattingly’s Los Angeles Dodgers come to Citi Field for a weekend series. Jon Niese opposes Hiroki Kuroda in Friday’s series opener, followed by Chris Young versus Jon Garland on Saturday and R.A. Dickey versus Clayton Kershaw on Sunday.