D-backs battle back, but fall in extras

D-backs battle back, but fall in extras

NEW YORK -- Shea Stadium is nowhere near Coney Island, but nonetheless, the D-backs spent Wednesday riding a roller-coaster of sorts.

There was the down of an early three-run deficit, the collective heart-stopping when ace Brandon Webb was struck by a line drive and the elation of a game-tying homer in the ninth.

Then, finally in the 13th, came the feeling of disappointment, as a ball off the bat of Carlos Beltran landed beyond the wall in right field to give the Mets a series-evening 5-3 win.

"Definitely highs and lows," said third baseman Mark Reynolds, who tied things up with a three-run homer in the ninth. "That's the way baseball is."

Fresh off a nine-run outburst Tuesday night, the D-backs felt like they had finally turned the corner offensively. Then Mike Pelfrey took the mound.

The right-hander spotted his fastball and kept Arizona's hitters off balance and off the scoreboard through eight innings.

"He spotted pretty good, but at the same time, he's throwing 95 mph, and when you're throwing that hard, you can get away with a few mistakes, too," outfielder Chris Young said. "He pitched well tonight. He has the kind of attitude where he's going to challenge you, and if you hit it, you hit it, and if you don't, he's going to win the battle."

The Mets gave Pelfrey a lead to work with as they touched Webb for a three-run fourth inning.

During the frame, Carlos Delgado hit a rocket back up the middle that struck Webb in his right hip. He remained in the game to retire the side and work a scoreless fifth before Arizona manager Bob Melvin pinch-hit for him in the sixth.

According to both Melvin and Webb, the reason he was removed after throwing just 58 pitches was not because he was injured.

"He felt it a little bit, but at that point, the way we had been riding him, I didn't want to run him out there for two more innings and get his pitch count up," Melvin said. "And innings-wise, he's pitched quite a bit for us. Just wanted to give him a little blow."

"I think it'll be all right tomorrow," Webb said. "It'll be a little bit sore. It just kind of skimmed off my side or hip or whatever. It hurt as soon as it did it, but it kind of subsided pretty quickly. [Melvin] came up to me and said, 'I just want to give you a breather, a quick game.'"

Webb did say that since his start May 26 against the Braves, he's noticed his velocity fluctuating.

"Even in the last couple of games, it's been down a little bit, but periodically it seems like it would come back," said Webb. "I don't know. My arm feels fine. My arm feels great. It was a good time to give me a little bit of a rest, and hopefully next time, come out and be ready to go eight or nine again. It doesn't hurt. Maybe a dead-arm period or something like that. Everything feels good."

Pelfrey was removed in favor of closer Bill Wagner when Stephen Drew led off the ninth with a single. Wagner fanned Orlando Hudson and Chad Tracy, but in between allowed a double to Conor Jackson that put runners at second and third.

That brought Reynolds to the plate, and Wagner appeared to hit him with a 2-2 pitch, but home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson called it a ball instead.

"I guess I didn't act good enough," Reynolds said.

Reynolds regrouped, and on the next pitch, blasted a 96-mph fastball over the bleachers in left to tie the game.

"I hadn't come close to hitting anything all night," said Reynolds, who had struck out in his previous three plate appearances. "He threw me a fastball I could handle, and I was lucky enough to get a good swing."

The two teams traded zeroes until the 13th, when with one out, Luis Castillo reached first on an error by Reynolds. Edgar Gonzalez got David Wright to pop out and had Beltran down 1-2 before a fastball that was supposed to be up and in was instead up and out over the middle of the plate, and it wound up over the wall in right as the stunned D-backs walked off the field.

"Any time you have a game where Pelfrey pitched as well as he did, and then all of a sudden with two outs and two strikes in the ninth we tie it up, you know certainly you would think the momentum was in our dugout," Melvin said. "You have to hand it to their pitchers, they came in and shut us down."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.