Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/20/12

NEW YORK -- For seven innings, the New York Mets appeared set to cruise through another dominating pitching performance, ready to blank the Baltimore Orioles for the third straight time.

But the Orioles stirred late, and instead of another eye-popping shutout, which would have made it three in a row, the Mets had to settle for a 4-3 win after escaping in the last two innings Wednesday night.

Regardless, the Mets rotation again looked nearly unstoppable. Dillon Gee continued an impressive streak for the Mets starters, throwing 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball to follow R.A. Dickey's complete game one-hitter, and Johan Santana's six shutout innings.

David Wright had three hits, including an RBI double, and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Scott Hairston doubled twice for the Mets, who swept their second series in as many tries against an AL East opponent.

"I like our rotation a lot," Mets manager Terry Collins said after the starters limited the Orioles to just seven hits in the first 25 innings of the series and allowed just two runs in 22 1/3 frames. "If they keep getting us this deep into games -- we've got to give them some runs to work with -- I think we're going to be in good shape."

The Orioles nearly completed a comeback in the ninth after trailing 4-0 entering the eighth. Wilson Betemit's two-run homer off Bobby Parnell got them on the board in the eighth. In the ninth, Mets closer Frank Francisco gave up a pair of one-out singles to Matt Wieters and Nick Johnson, before getting Betemit on a pop up for the second out.

Francisco walked the next two batters, with Steve Pearce's base on balls forcing in a run to make it 4-3.

But he recovered to get Brian Roberts on a grounder to second to end the game and earn his 17th save of the season as the Mets finished off the three-game sweep.

"He's my closer," Collins said. "Actually he's been throwing great, he hit 97 (mph) today, and made some good pitches."

The Mets also were helped by an odd play with two on and one out in the eighth that helped kill a Baltimore rally. Down 4-2, Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy chopped a ball in front of the plate, and the ball hit his bat, which he was still holding as he ran out of the batter's box. Replays appeared to indicate the ball hit Hardy's bat in fair territory as he was out of the box. The result was an interference call with a putout attributed to the catcher for the second out of the inning.

After a brief argument from Orioles manager Buck Showalter, reliever Bobby Parnell got Chris Davis on a fly to the warning track in left to end the inning.

"It hit him in the box, hit the bat in the box and it hit him outside the box, hit him twice," Showalter said, making his case that it should have been a foul ball.

It marked the fourth straight series in which the Mets either swept their opponent or were swept. The Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds each took three straight from the Mets, who knocked off the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays three times each.

Betemit's homer in the eighth finally broke through a string of futility for the Orioles and infallibility by Mets pitchers. The two-run shot provided Baltimore's first runs in the series, and first in 28 innings overall. It also marked the first runs allowed by the Mets in 29 innings.

Gee kept it going by allowing three hits and tying his career-high of nine strikeouts before walking off to a loud ovation in the eighth.

"Tremendous command of his fastball," Collins said, a thought echoed by Showalter. "And his changeup was outstanding tonight; you saw a lot of swings and misses off his changeup, he was getting a lot of guys out front."

Reliever Parnell was not greeted as warmly by Baltimore.

Roberts singled to put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth. But Hardy's odd chopper and interference call and Davis' fly ball ended the inning, and the rally in the ninth fell short.

"We had a chance," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. "We didn't quit."

After taking a 3-0 lead against starter Brian Matusz (5-8), the Mets tacked on a run in the sixth against Luis Ayala on Wright's RBI double, which scored Gee, who led off the inning with a double.

The Mets scored two runs in the fifth after scoring one in the fourth, ending Matusz's night after just 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits.

Hairston's two doubles helped the Mets take a 3-0 lead after five, as he scored a run in the fourth on Mike Nickeas' single, and drove in one in the fifth.

The only hit Gee allowed in the first five innings was a clean single to Matusz, the pitcher's first hit in the majors.

NOTES: Mets right fielder Lucas Duda was out of the lineup with a tight hamstring as a precautionary measure, manager Terry Collins. Collins said Duda could have played, but with the hot temperatures and an off-day Thursday, he decided to rest him. … Shortstop Ruben Tejada (strained right quadriceps) played his third straight rehab game Wednesday, for Class AAA Buffalo, after playing two games for Class A St. Lucie. … Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis was hoping to start hitting by Friday, but instead will have his injured right wrist reevaluated. Markakis is on the DL while recovering from surgery for a broken hamate bone in his right hand three weeks ago. He wanted to return by July 1, but manager Buck Showalter said he thought that would be too soon. … Nick Johnson got his second start of the month and fifth of the season at first base Wednesday night.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Durant laughs off Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Nationals minor league team will give out ‘Ode to Tommy John’ figurines

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

Report: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Drew Brees trying to 'save the game' with flag football

Report: Jackson ‘laughing with confidants’ about fleecing Dolan

Report: Blake Griffin may still return to Clippers despite Chris Paul exit

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker