Chatwood throws seven shutout innings to lead Angels to 7-3 win over Mets
If rookie Tyler Chatwood had any jitters before his first game in New York City, he hid them well. The 21-year-old right-hander threw seven shutout innings, giving four hits, striking out four and walking four, to lead the Angels to a 7-3 interleague victory over the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday.
Erick Aybar keyed a three-run second inning with a two-out, three-run triple to right field, Vernon Wells had a pair of run-scoring singles and a solo home run, and Jeff Mathis added a solo homer for the Angels, who took two of three from the Mets to improve to 4-2 on their 12-game, "Four Corners" trip to Seattle, New York, Florida and Los Angeles.
Chatwood, who was tagged for five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings of his last start, a 9-0 loss to Kansas City on June 12, improved to 4-4 and threw a career-high 117 pitches, 69 for strikes. Though he walked the leadoff batter three times, he kept the Mets' dynamic leadoff batter, Jose Reyes, off base four times.
Chatwood also made a significant contribution with his bat in his first big-league plate appearance during the Angels’ second-inning rally.
Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos opened the inning with singles, and Mathis struck out. Fully expecting a bunt, the Mets employed the “wheel” play, in which third baseman Justin Turner charged hard and Reyes ran from shortstop to cover third.
But Chatwood beat the strategy by bunting toward first base instead of third, and his sacrifice advanced both runners. Maicer Izturis was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Aybar slapped his opposite-field triple to right for three runs and a 4-0 lead.
The Angels pushed it to 5-0 in the fifth when Aybar reached on an error, Torii Hunter singled and Wells hit his second RBI single of the game to knock out Mets starter Jonathon Niese, who was 4-1 with a 1.58 earned-run average in his previous six starts.
Mathis, who entered the game with a .195 average, made it 6-0 in the sixth with a solo homer to left, his second of the season and first since the season opener in Kansas City on March 31.
Chatwood, a .521 hitter in his senior year at Redlands East Valley High in 2008, followed with a sharp single to center for his first major league hit, but he was wiped out on Izturis’ double-play grounder.
Wells made it 7-0 in the seventh with his seventh homer of the year, a solo shot off reliever Manny Acosta that bounced off the top of the left-field wall and into the seats.
With three hits, Wells raised his average above .200 for the first time since the first game of the season, when he went one for four.
The Mets scored three runs on four hits, including RBI singles by Reyes and Carlos Beltran, in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Bobby Cassevah.
--Mike DiGiovanna in New York
Photo: Tyler Chatwood delivers a pitch against the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field in New York. Credit: Bill Kostroun / Associated Press