NEW YORK -- Every inning Monday, from the fifth through the 11th, the Mets stranded at least one runner in scoring position. Three times during that stretch, they left a runner standing on third base. Andrew Brown called it "annoying," watching so many prime opportunities go to waste at Citi Field.
So Brown did something about it, rapping a two-run, walk-off single into center field to give the Mets a 5-4 victory over the D-backs in 13 innings.
"It's indescribable [that] we could go out there and get a win the way we did," Brown said. "We didn't quit playing. That's the best baseball you can have."
Half an inning after the D-backs took the lead in the 13th, Josh Satin sparked the winning rally with a one-out double to the center field wall. The D-backs then intentionally walked slumping catcher John Buck, who was 3-for-his-last-38, allowing pinch-hitter Matt Harvey to sacrifice two men into scoring position.
Another intentional walk loaded the bases and cued Brown's walk-off winner, on a fastball that pitcher Josh Collmenter said he "needed to get a little more up."
"It's just a fun inning," Brown said. "That's the way it's supposed to be written up I guess, right?"
If only it were that clear throughout the five-hour, 13-minute marathon. For much of the early evening, it seemed as if Mets starter Shaun Marcum would fall to his 10th loss despite a quality start. All the damage against him came early, most of it on Paul Goldschmidt's two-run homer in the first. Marcum put the leadoff runner on base an inning later, giving up another run when Aaron Hill singled him home.
Settling down from there, Marcum allowed just two hits the rest of the way, walking three and striking out two in six innings of an outing that he called "a battle from the get-go." But his lack of run support resulted in a no-decision.
Though the Mets forced D-backs starter Wade Miley to throw 110 pitches over 5 2/3 innings, they could not score until after Miley left the game, when David Wright plated Eric Young, Jr. with a single in the seventh. A second run came an inning later on Young's two-out double, and the Mets tied things on Satin's single in the ninth, allowing Marlon Byrd to score when the ball popped out of catcher Miguel Montero's glove.
Satin, whose streak of reaching base in 12 straight games has silenced calls for regular first baseman Ike Davis' promotion, finished 3-for-6 with a walk.
"Winning a game like this, it just makes the five and a half hours that much more worth it," Satin said. "Walking a team off at the end, there's no greater feeling."
The Mets had plenty of earlier, less dramatic chances against Miley, loading the bases with two outs in the first, putting runners on the corners with no outs in the second and placing another man on third base with one out in the sixth. But each time, Miley generated the strikeouts he needed to strand those runners.
For the Mets, the primary culprit was catcher Buck, who struck out looking with the bases loaded in the first, struck out swinging to record the first out in the sixth, and popped up to strand runners on the corners against Heath Bell in the seventh. Buck, who finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, has three hits and 16 whiffs in his last 38 at-bats.
He also made a critical baserunning blunder in the ninth, shortly after the Mets tied the game. When a pitch skipped away from Montero, Buck was thrown out trying to advance to second base with the winning already in scoring position, sending the game to extra innings.
The Mets again left the bases loaded in the 11th, this time when Omar Quintanilla lined out to first. Given such inefficiency, it seemed only a matter of time before the D-backs took the lead, which they finally did on Cody Ross' homer off David Aardsma to lead off the 13th.
But the Mets, as Satin said, did not particularly feel like waiting around for five-plus hours simply to absorb another hard-luck loss. They had already suffered 15- and 20-inning defeats this season, and had not won a contest of this length in more than two years.
They had already spent their bullpen to such an extent that immediately after the game, they issued rookie Gonzalez Germen a plane ticket to New York, where he will give the Mets at least one fresh arm. They had completely exhausted their bench, resulting in Harvey's pinch-hit appearance during the winning rally.
Knowing all that, the magnitude of a victory was not lost on them.
"It feels great," manager Terry Collins said. "If you're going to be out there that long, you might as well win the game."