NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Cain is winless in three September starts despite a 1.29 ERA. That's the sort of season it's been for the San Francisco Giants and their All-Star right-hander.
Josh Satin hit a two-run single to cap a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent New York past the Giants 5-4 on Wednesday night, moments after Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada broke his right leg.
Shut down by Cain for almost eight innings, a makeshift Mets lineup fought back against the San Francisco bullpen. Pinch-hitter Zach Lutz had an RBI double and Juan Centeno, making his major league debut, singled in a run off closer Sergio Romo (4-8).
"To lose one like this is not easy to swallow," Cain said.
Cain managed only two outs July 10 in a 7-2 loss to the Mets, the lone time in 264 career starts that he failed to get out of the first inning. This time, he was on top of his game.
He scattered six singles over 7 2-3 innings and did not allow an earned run. New York pushed only one runner to second base before the eighth, when Satin hit a sacrifice fly.
That was the end of the night for Cain, who struck out six and walked none. New York's late comeback left him winless in four outings since beating Miami on Aug. 17. The three-time All-Star made his third start since spending 15 days on the disabled list with a bruised right forearm.
"He was great. He pitched well. It's a shame we couldn't get a win for him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You have to give them credit on coming from behind. They almost did it last night, and they did it tonight."
Cain walked off to a warm ovation from another vocal throng of Giants fans in the crowd of 23,698. San Francisco plays at Yankee Stadium this weekend, and Giants jerseys have dotted the stands during the first two nights of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Gregor Blanco hit an early two-run homer off Mets starter Aaron Harang.
Satin had a career-best three RBIs. Vic Black (2-0) pitched a perfect inning for the win.
Tejada was injured when he tumbled over sliding left fielder Andrew Brown to catch a popup in the ninth. Tejada, who knocked shins with the oncoming Brown, initially stayed in the game but was lifted for Lutz in the bottom of the inning.
Santiago Casilla walked two in the ninth before giving way to Romo, who threw 25 pitches in the series opener Tuesday. Lutz lined a one-out double and Centeno looped a single that was fielded on one hop by shortstop Brandon Crawford in short left field.
Matt den Dekker walked before pinch-hitter Omar Quintanilla flied out to shallow right, keeping the bases loaded. Satin then lined a game-ending single into left field and greeted a rush of happy teammates with open arms near first base.
It was Romo's fifth blown save in 40 chances.
"I was trying to give him a break, but when you walked a couple of guys, you go to your closer," Bochy said. "He was fine to go. I already had him warming up."
Angel Pagan, the hitting star Tuesday night, singled in the third before Blanco sent a high drive to right for his third home run.
New York gave away a run with two embarrassing errors in the fourth. Satin bobbled a leadoff grounder to third by Crawford, who scored when Brown flubbed Blanco's two-out fly to right.
Cain helped himself in that inning with a butcher-boy single.
Buster Posey was hit by Harang's pitch to start the fifth and later swiped second, his second stolen base this season. Posey scored on Crawford's two-out single.
Carlos Torres, scheduled to start Sunday in Philadelphia, struck out four in two hitless innings of relief for New York.
"If there's anything that typifies what we're trying to do here, it was that ninth inning," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "When you're playing the world champions, down by three, Matt Cain is mowing you down, it might be easy to say to yourself, 'We don't belong here.'"
NOTES: Bochy said Romo won't pitch Thursday, but Casilla will be available. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro had an MRI that showed only inflammation in his ailing left pinkie. He will be out until at least Friday, but Scutaro wants to return this season if his pinkie and sore back feel better, Bochy said. ... LHP Jeremy Affeldt (groin) might not pitch again this year, Bochy said. ... RHP Sandy Rosario, who left Tuesday night's game with a strained right hip, will be unavailable for at least a couple of days. ... Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (12-9, 2.83 ERA) faces LHP Jonathon Niese (7-7, 3.88) in the series finale Thursday afternoon.