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Wheeler sharp into 7th; Recker, Mets beat Rangers

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm •  Published: July 6, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Zack Wheeler learned a couple things Sunday.

Pitching with a big, early lead is fun.

And, it's possible to work through an issue with his motion without losing rhythm on the mound.

Both lessons helped the 24-year-old rising star breeze into the seventh inning, Anthony Recker hit a three-run homer in a five-run first and the New York Mets beat the Texas Rangers 8-4 for a series win.

"It's a big thing for me because not always I was able to find it," Wheeler said of fixing a timing glitch in his mechanics. "It felt good to come back out there and compete."

Lucas Duda had an RBI double and Juan Lagares a run-scoring single in the Mets' biggest opening inning of the season, with all the runs scoring with two outs. New York then got only one hit off Nick Tepesch (3-4) until Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the sixth with a long ball to right field.

Daniel Murphy's RBI double in the seventh made it 7-1, but reliever Gonzalez Germen allowed Alex Rios' first homer in 46 games and Leonys Martin's two-run drive before getting an out in the eighth.

Ruben Tejada had an RBI single in the eighth to increase New York's lead to a four runs.

"The kind of hit Ruben got in the eighth wins games," manager Terry Collins said.

Jeurys Familia cleaned up for Gonzalez by getting the final two outs in the eighth and closer Jenrry Mejia pitched the ninth.

The Mets needed five relievers to help send Texas to its sixth loss on a seven-game road trip that ended Sunday.

"We still had a lot of baseball to play and we ended up doing that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We just couldn't make up for the runs that they put on the board."

Wheeler (4-8) had his second straight solid outing in an up-and-down season to help the Mets win for just the third time in 11 games. The lanky right-hander lasted 6 1-3 innings and gave up a run and six hits, including Robinson Chirinos' second homer of the series.

It was Wheeler's first victory in his last 10 home starts. He is 1-6 over that span.

"We've got a young pitcher on our hands who's going to be really, really good," Collins said. "Zack gets better each start. Today his velocity was consistent throughout the game."

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