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Sunday, August 4, 2013
Byrd to Wheeler: My bad

By Matt Ehalt

NEW YORK -- After losing a pair of battles with the sun on Sunday, Marlon Byrd pointed the blame in one direction following the Mets' 6-2 loss to the Royals.

"You come to the park and never think you're going to feel like you're the reason you lose the game," Byrd said. "But today, I put that on me."

With the unrelenting sun making life miserable for Byrd in right field, the veteran botched a pair of plays in the fifth inning that helped the Royals break open the game. The Mets had three miscues overall.

"I chalk it up to I need to get better with sun balls, simple as that," Byrd said. "High sun, I've had enough time in Chicago where I usually know how to play those balls and at least come up with one of them. Can't misplay two balls especially when you have a guy going well on the mound."

With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Byrd lost a leadoff fly ball in the sun and it dropped in for a double. That run came around to score on a wild pitch by starter Zack Wheeler.

With one out, Byrd battled the sun while attempting to haul in a long fly from Alex Gordon, but he dropped the ball for a two-base error. Lorenzo Cain followed with a two-run single to put the Royals up 4-0. Second baseman Daniel Murphy also had an error in the second after dropping a ball in the sun.

"Two balls I misplayed that basically killed any momentum Wheeler had. He was throwing the ball well," Byrd said. "Wish I could have made both of those plays, at least one to help him out. When you misplay two balls against a good team, they capitalize on it and that's what they did."

Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game that Wheeler needed to do a better job of picking up his teammates when they make errors. Byrd has played right field well for the Mets, and has been the team's second-most consistent hitter behind the injured David Wright.

"My God almighty Marlon Byrd has done nothing but played sensational right field," Collins said. "Today, he proved why playing right field in Citi Field is tough on a bright, sunny day. It's tough."

He added: "It's a strange game and sometimes things happen and it's not the fault of anybody."