NEW YORK– For a second straight night, the Mets were burned by a meltdown from a reliever, but this time they won the fight.

Starting on the mound, and delivering for the Mets, was Hisanori Takahashi. With the Mets needing to beat the Diamondbacks, Takahashi stepped up to strike out 10 batters in six innings.

The game didn’t get off to a great start with an infield hit by Chris Young on the first pitch, but Takahashi rebounded to strike out two in the first.

Constructing the lineup a little differently tonight, with Jeff Francoeur out and Luis Castillo batting eighth, the Mets hoped for better fortunes.  But just like last night the Mets got virtually nothing from their four through nine hitters.

Instead it was the three guys going well right now in the Mets lineup–Reyes, Pagan, and Wright– who again contributed.

When Takahashi got into some trouble in the third, after walking the leadoff batter Augie Ojeda, he allowed a sacrifice bunt, walk, single, and sacrifice fly.

The Mets responded immediately, as they have all season, in their half of the third. It was a two-out rally, with Angel Pagan hitting a ground-rule double, and David Wright driving him in to tie the game at 1-1.

In the fifth, Takahashi allowed two singles, but also struck out three batters en route to a career-high 10 strikeouts, becoming the first Mets pitcher to strikeout 10 batters or more this season.

The Mets would take the lead in the fifth on a Jose Reyes RBI single. Takahashi was pulled after six innings, since the high strikeout total led to a high pitch count.

Bobby Parnell came in to pitch the seventh with a 0.96 ERA. He gave up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Tony Abreu. That was followed by a single to Chris Young and walk to Kelly Johnson, loading the bases with no outs. The next batter Justin Upton singled in the tying and go-ahead runs, giving Arizona a 3-2 lead.

Pedro Feliciano would allow an inherited run to score on a fielder’s choice groundout, extending the Diamondbacks lead to 4-2. Manny Acosta, who struck out all four batters he faced last night, retired all four batters he faced tonight, striking out one.

The Mets came right back in their seventh to tie the game at 4-4. With two outs and no one on, Reyes walked, Pagan singled, and Wright doubled them both in. Wright has driven in eight runs in the series, pushing his RBI total to 77 on the season.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Mets, giving them a chance to win the game via walk-off.

The Mets did just that. Jesus Feliciano, who came in as part of a double-switch earlier, lead off with a triple. After Jose Reyes didn’t get the job done with a shallow fly out to right, the Diamondbacks intentionally walked both Pagan and Wright to load the bases. Carlos Beltran hit a fly ball to right that was deep enough to score Feliciano with the winning run.

The Mets won the game, 5-4, avoiding another disappointing loss to Arizona, beating them for the first time this season in five tries.

The Mets will now try to win the series and home stand tomorrow afternoon with Jon Niese on the mound.

It’ll also be Mets Hall of Fame Day, honoring four members of the Mets 1986 championship team.

NL East standings
Atlanta 59-44
Philadelphia 56-48 (3 1/2)
NY Mets 53-51 (6 1/2)
Florida 53-51 (6 1/2)

Series probable pitchers:
August 1
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 7-4, 3.43 ERA) vs. Arizona: Daniel Hudson (*2010: 1-1, 6.32 ERA)

*-As a member of the White Sox

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
August 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
August 2-4 @ Atlanta Braves

Arizona Diamondbacks:
August 1 @ New York Mets
August 2-5 vs. Washington Nationals

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