Castro, Wright lead Mets to walk-off winJun 24, 2007 - 3:38 AM FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- After blowing his top, Paul Lo Duca was not surprised that Ramon Castro was the New York Mets' saving grace.
Castro hit a leadoff double in the ninth and scored on a walk-off double by David Wright to give the Mets a 1-0 win over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
Castro, who entered the game in the sixth after catcher Lo Duca was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, led off the ninth with a double to left field off Santiago Casilla (2-1).
"It worked out for the best. I knew that (hit) was coming," Lo Duca said.
Wright followed with a blooper to right that got past a diving Travis Buck, allowing the slow-footed Castro to score from second.
"It feels good. Those guys are a good team," Wright said. "It's important we have our confidence back. It was a shot in the arm."
Buck, who started the game in left field, moved to right field when Shannon Stewart entered the game as pinch hitter in the eighth.
"I knew the situation. I should have just let it drop," Buck said. "It was one of those times it didn't work."
The win ensured that New York, who won the series opener, 9-1, on Friday, will win its first series in six tries.
The game unfolded as a pitchers' duel between Oakland's Joe Blanton and New York's Orlando Hernandez. It included a heated argument in the sixth inning that led to the ejection of Lo Duca.
Blanton threw eight scoreless innings, allowing just five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
"They're an aggressive team and I as just trying to throw strikes early," Blanton said. "It worked out for me."
Blanton, who has been outstanding in June, posted a 3-1 mark and lasting seven innings in each of his five starts, held the Mets had just a pair of singles through the first five innings before Ricky Ledee lined a double down the right field line to open the sixth.
After a one-out walk to Jose Reyes, the inning heated up further when Lo Duca argued a pair of called strikes and kept up the argument after the second pitch before being tossed by plate umpire Marvin Hudson.
"It was my fault for snapping, but I swear on my mother I didn't curse at him," Lo Duca said. "I've said a lot worse and never gotten thrown out."
Lo Duca became even more enraged, tossing his bat and helmet toward the infield and doing the same with his shin guards after returning to the dugout.
"Obviously I started it, but he came at me, too. It's part of the game," Lo Duca said. "Good Italian temper."
Castro struck out to complete the at-bat before Carlos Beltran singled to Buck, who threw out Ledee at home with a throw on the fly to keep the game scoreless.
The A's threatened in their half of the ninth when Bobby Crosby led off the frame by tapping a dribbler to Jose Valentin at second. Valentin had to hurry the throw and it handcuffed Carlos Delgado, who dropped it, allowing Crosby to reach.
However, Billy Wagner (1-0) got former Met Marco Scutaro to fly out to right and struck out Buck swinging to end the threat.
Meanwhile, Hernandez rebounded nicely by pitching seven scoreless innings in which he scattered six hits, walked one and struck out seven. He worked his way in and out of trouble, leaving runners in scoring position in four different innings, but remains winless in his last four starts.
Hernandez's performance overshadowed what was a shaky performance by the Mets' defense, which committed two errors and had several other miscues.
"Thank God for 'El Duque,'" New York manager Willie Randolph said. "Our defense was shabby. I was not happy with the way we played."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
NY METS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 2 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: OAK - JOE BLANTON, SANTIAGO CASILLA (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL
NYM - ORLANDO HERNANDEZ, PEDRO FELICIANO (8TH), AARON
HEILMAN (8TH), BILLY WAGNER (9TH) AND PAUL LO DUCA
Jun 23 9:50 PM
AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
DOUBLE BY DAVID WRIGHT SCORED RAMON CASTRO.
FINAL SCORE: NY METS 1, OAKLAND 0
Athletics vs. MetsJun 23 9:50 PM
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