DENVER (AP) — In the aftermath of a difficult loss, New York Mets manager Terry Collins saw some encouraging signs.
Pinch hitter Charlie Culberson hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Kyle Farnsworth, and the Colorado Rockies, down by six runs early, rallied again to beat the New York Mets 11-10 in a wild affair on Saturday night.
"The guys fought back time and again tonight," Collins said. "We swung the bats very well. This is a park that's known for your last at-bat."
The Mets had weathered an eight-run fifth inning by Colorado, that included Nolan Arenado's grand slam, and took a 10-9 lead on Juan Lagares' RBI single in the ninth inning off LaTroy Hawkins (1-0).
But Troy Tulowitzki, who recorded his 1,000th career hit earlier, singled off Farnsworth (0-2) to start the bottom of the ninth. He advanced to second on a deep flyout by Arenado, and Culberson followed with a drive off a 1-2 pitch from Farnsworth that cleared the center field wall.
Farnsworth said he didn't quite get the location he wanted on the fateful pitch.
"Fastball away, it hit the middle I guess," Farnsworth said. "He got a good swing on it. It's always difficult. We just have to keep on battling. Guys played well tonight and we came out on the wrong end of it."
It was a sudden finish to a game in which the teams combined for 30 hits, including Arenado's slam that extended his major league-best hitting streak to 23 games.
Tulowitzki had his milestone hit in the seventh when he singled up the middle off reliever Daisuke Matsuzaka. The ninth-year pro became the fifth Rockies player with 1,000 hits and the 78th active player to reach the milestone. He scored from third on Jordan Pacheco's sacrifice fly to give Colorado a 9-8 lead, but the Mets tied it again in the eighth on Chris Young's RBI single.
Staked to an early 6-0 lead, Jenrry Mejia had blanked the Rockies through the first four innings and seemed headed toward the solid pitching outing New York needed. Instead, he became the third Mets starter in a row to fail to get out of the fifth after the rotation began the season with 26 straight starts of at least five innings.
The turnaround was triggered by Ryan Wheeler's first home run of the season leading off the fifth. The Rockies sent 11 men to the plate in the inning.