Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey reacts after being called for his second balk against the Giants.
San Francisco snapped a four-game skid and avoided a four-game home sweep in a game that featured a rare three balks by Pelfrey. The Mets didn't dispute those calls afterward.
Pelfrey (4-1) kicked the mound in frustration following his third balk, in the sixth, that drew pitching coach Dan Warthen out for a visit.
“I think maybe when I get on national TV I like making a fool of myself,” Pelfrey said. “It seemed like I almost had the yips. It was like I was fighting myself to come set because my mind kept telling me to pick the guy off. I went back and watched replays and I balked.”
The last pitcher to have three balks in a game was Al Leiter for Toronto against Minnesota on April 23, 1994. It was only the second time in Mets franchise history that a pitcher had three balks. Don Rowe did it on April 27, 1963, at Philadelphia.
Bob Shaw holds the NL record with five balks for the Milwaukee Braves against the Cubs on May 4, 1963 _ and he had three in one inning.
New York's potent offense couldn't get to Giants starter Matt Cain after producing 24 runs, 42 hits and 13 stolen bases in the first three games of the series. The Mets, in the midst of a 10-game road trip, lost for only the fourth time in 16 May games.
Carlos Beltran's double in the eighth against Jeremy Affeldt put runners on second and third with no outs and gave him an 11-game hitting streak, but pinch-hitter Angel Pagan grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Pelfrey walked Cain to start the third for the Mets' first free pass in three games, then allowed a single to the pitcher in the fifth that put the Giants ahead 2-0. New York had come from behind to win both Thursday and Friday nights, then broke open a tie game Saturday to win 9-6.
“They had a lot of fight in them today,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “Even their fans seemed to be in a playoff-type atmosphere. They didn't want the Mets to do the sweep here.”