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SF@NYM: Hefner tosses three scoreless frames in debut

NEW YORK -- For 3 2/3 innings Monday, Miguel Batista struggled mightily against the Giants, allowing seven hits, two home runs and six total runs in the first game of a doubleheader. For three innings after that, Jeremy Hefner silenced San Francisco's offense in a 6-1 Mets loss at Citi Field.

  Afterward, a frustrated Batista declared his willingness to pitch in relief during Game 2. And a grateful Hefner accepted his ticket back to Triple-A.

  Pitching the first half of a traditional doubleheader as a result of Sunday's rainout, the 41-year-old Batista served up Pablo Sandoval's RBI single and Buster Posey's solo home run in the first inning, and Nate Schierholtz's three-run shot in the third. After Batista gave up a leadoff single to Emmanuel Burriss, an RBI double to Brandon Crawford and a two-out walk to Melky Cabrera in the fourth inning, his first spot start of the season was complete.

"I missed my location I would say three times," Batista said. "It cost me."

  In came Hefner, who put at least one runner on base in each of his three innings -- including a one-out triple for Schierholtz in the seventh -- but did not crack for a run. Making his Major League debut, Hefner had joined the team earlier Monday as pitching depth for the doubleheader, after the Mets placed infielder Ronny Cedeno on the disabled list. The Mets optioned Hefner back to Triple-A Buffalo between games to make room for a fifth bench player, Jordany Valdespin.

"Hopefully I contributed," a visibly emotional Hefner said. "I'll go back down and keep working on my craft, and when they need me, I'll be back."

  Though Giants starter Tim Lincecum walked five batters and needed 108 pitches to complete five innings, he also struck out eight Mets and held them to one run. That came on Mike Baxter's RBI double in the second inning, after Lincecum walked Ruben Tejada with one out.

  The Mets loaded the bases against Lincecum with one out in the fifth, but Burriss, the second baseman, started a nifty behind-the-back double play on Ike Davis' ground ball up the middle. The Mets also put two runners in scoring position with no outs in the seventh, then loaded the bases with two outs. But Davis grounded out to end that threat, as well. The first baseman stranded a combined eight runners over his final three plate appearances, and is now 1-for-16 dating back to April 18.

  "Besides frustration? I see a guy that's really trying to make one swing do a lot, do some big damage," manager Terry Collins said of Davis. "He's not getting very good pitches to hit. They really have made really good pitches on him. He's just got to make some better adjustments."

Schierholtz also singled and stole a base in the first inning, finishing a double short of the cycle. His home run caromed off the Modell's sign in right field, marking the second homer an opponent has hit this season that would not have cleared Citi Field's old dimensions. The Mets have hit three such home runs, two by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Comments