- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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Recker, in only his second start of the season, ultimately highlighted the win anyway.
New York Mets
The backup catcher took Matt Shoemaker deep in the top of the 13th and John Lannan contributed his second scoreless inning in the bottom half of that frame as the Mets survived for a 7-6 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
Papa not-so-grande: Oops, Raul Ibanez did it to Valverde again!
With the Mets one out from victory, Valverde allowed a pair of baserunners, then surrendered a game-tying three-run homer to Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth.
Fans of the crosstown Yankees might remember that Ibanez-Valverde pairing combining for dramatics in the ALCS two years ago.
On Oct. 13, 2012, Ibanez delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against Valverde in the Bronx, although the Tigers eventually won that Game 1 anyway in 12 innings en route to a series sweep.
On Friday, Mets relievers had run their scoreless streak to 20 1/3 innings before Jeurys Familia uncorked a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to force in the game-ending run.
Backup power: Recker and Omar Quintanilla, who had no hits and one start between them entering Saturday, lifted the Mets to victory with a combined five RBIs.
Recker dropped a two-run single in front of lunging center fielder Mike Trout in the seventh, after Fernando Salas inherited a pair of runners from Jered Weaver. That capped a three-run inning and provided the Mets with a 4-3 lead.
Quintanilla supplied a two-run single in the ninth as the Mets’ lead swelled to 6-3 before Valverde entered.
Less Cowgill: Until the Mets’ three-run seventh, it had been the Collin Cowgill show.
Cowgill, the Mets’ Opening Day starter in center field last season, threw out Eric Young Jr. at the plate attempting to tag on a shallow fly ball to end the top of the first inning, homered against Jonathon Niese and scored twice as the Angels carried a 3-1 lead into the seventh.
Entering that frame, Weaver had limited the Mets to one hit -- a solo homer by Lucas Duda with two outs in the second that had evened the score at 1.
Then, in the seventh, Curtis Granderson walked and Duda advanced him to third base with a single. With runners on the corners, Juan Lagares singled to plate Granderson, pulling the Mets within a run and ending Weaver’s night. Recker followed with the go-ahead two-run single.
Cowgill, who had a .180 average in 61 at-bats when he was traded to the Angels last June 25 for minor-league outfielder Kyle Johnson, had staked the Angels to a 3-1 lead in the sixth with a solo homer against Niese.
Niesely done: Niese surrendered a pair of homers in his second outing since returning from the disabled list, but ultimately departed with a 4-3 lead with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Former Rockie Chris Iannetta took the southpaw deep in the fifth to break a 1-all tie.
Niese’s line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR. He threw 96 pitches (64 strikes).
Deep thoughts: Duda, who started at designated hitter, with Ike Davis at first base, now has a team-leading three homers. No other Met has more than one.