San Francisco, CA – Marlon Byrd's grand slam in the eighth inning broke open a tight game and helped give the New York Mets a 10-6 win over the struggling San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Anthony Recker added a two-run homer, Andrew Brown knocked in a pair and Omar Quintanilla went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for the Mets, who have won the first two meetings of this three-game set after outlasting the Giants in a 16-inning marathon on Monday.
Scott Rice (4-5) stranded a pair in the seventh to earn the win behind Dillon Gee, who struggled through 6 2/3 innings having allowed five runs on nine hits and five walks.
"(Gee) got us deep into the game, which we needed to have," Mets manager Terry Collins said after using six relievers in Monday's game. "It saved the rest of our guys in the bullpen."
His counterpart, Barry Zito, was also lit up for five runs on seven hits and four free passes in his six-inning start. The left-hander is winless in his last seven outings for the defending World Series champions.
Pablo Sandoval had two RBI for San Francisco, which has dropped seven of its last eight to fall a season-high nine games under .500.
"Our issue has been scoring runs. Tonight we had some good at-bats and put some runs on the board, but the pitching wasn't there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Jose Mijares (0-2) put on the go-ahead run in the eighth and Jeremy Affeldt gave up Daniel Murphy's sacrifice fly. In a 5-5 game, Mijares was pulled with one on and one out, and a single and a walk loaded the bases for Murphy, whose fly ball to left field was deep enough to plate Quintanilla.
After David Wright worked a walk to load the bases again, Byrd took the first pitch he saw from Jake Dunning, a hanging breaking ball, and redirected it into the left-field seats for his seventh career grand slam.
Carlos Torres gave up Nick Noonan's pinch-hit, RBI single in the ninth before closing out the victory.
Brown was robbed of a potential home run by a Tuesday call-up in the second inning. Kensuke Tanaka, who played primarily at second base in the minors but saw time in the outfield at Triple-A Fresno, looked like a seasoned veteran when he tracked down Brown's drive to left field and perfectly timed his jump at the wall to snare it just before it found the seats.
The Mets were not as sure-handed in the bottom half. Brandon Belt attempted a steal of second base with runners on the corners and one out, and Recker's throw skipped into center field. Hunter Pence scored on the error and Belt slid in safely when Murphy threw high to home on Guillermo Quiroz's bouncer to second.
Zito got himself in trouble in the fourth by issuing a pair of walks around a Byrd single. Brown followed with a two-run double to left and Quintanilla drove in another with a two-out base hit to center to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Gregor Blanco and Tanaka both singled to open the fifth, with the 32-year-old Tanaka receiving a standing ovation for his first big-league hit. Scutaro bunted both runners up 90 feet, and Sandoval made it 3-3 with a run-scoring groundout.
Recker crushed a two-run homer in the sixth, and the Giants pushed a run across in their next two at-bats to even things again. Belt scored on Tony Abreu's pinch-hit infield single in the sixth, and Sandoval plated Tanaka with a sac fly in the seventh.
Wright had two of New York's 12 hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games ... The Giants were 8-2 in Zito's 10 home starts coming in ... The Mets are 5-1-2 in their last eight series and 7-1-2 in their last 10 road sets ... In addition to purchasing Tanaka's contract on Tuesday, the Giants also agreed to a minor league contract with recently released outfielder Jeff Francoeur, placed catcher Hector Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, recalled pitcher Mike Kickham from Triple-A Fresno and designated outfielder Cole Gillespie for assignment.