NEW YORK – His nickname is Kung Fu Panda. The New York Mets probably have other, not so cute, monikers for Pablo Sandoval.
Sandoval drove in three runs with three hits, including a go-ahead double with two outs in the ninth inning Monday that propelled the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory over the Mets.
“You know Pablo, he gets a little anxious sometimes,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “But you can tell he’s comfortable up there and seeing the ball well and he fought off some tough pitches, too. Not once, but two, three times today.”
San Francisco took three of four at Citi Field while the Mets dropped a home series for the first time since June 10-12 against Milwaukee.
Sandoval, who hit a two-run double in the third off Dillon Gee that tied the game 2-2, delivered again in the ninth.
Gregor Blanco singled with two outs off Mets closer Jenrry Mejia (5-4). Blanco stole second and, after Buster Posey drew his fourth walk of the game, Sandoval sliced a ground-rule double into the seats down the left-field line.
Mejia, the Mets’ sixth pitcher of the afternoon, had allowed just one earned run since June 18.
“I don’t try to do too much in those situations,” Sandoval said. “I just try to get a good pitch to hit. I try to focus on the moment.”
Sandoval is hitting .344 (32 for 93 over his past 23 games. The 2012 World Series MVP has 13 hits in his last 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Sergio Romo (5-3) got the win with one scoreless inning and Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
The Mets, who got a two-run, first-inning homer from Daniel Murphy and an RBI infield single by David Wright in the fifth off Tim Hudson, took a 3-2 lead into the seventh. But the Giants tied it off Jeurys Familia, ending his streak of 13 relief appearances since June 30 without permitting an earned run. INTERLEAGUE Orioles 7, Nationals 3
In Washington, Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs, J.J. Hardy had four hits and Baltimore beat the Nationals in a duel between neighboring first-place teams.
Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who trailed 3-1 before rallying for their eighth win in 11 games.
Hardy and Ryan Flaherty opened the seventh with successive doubles off Tanner Roark (11-7) to tie it 3-3. Delmon Young followed with an RBI single — making him 9 for 17 as a pinch hitter this season — and Adam Jones capped the uprising with a run-scoring single. Angels 5, Dodgers 0
In Los Angeles, Garrett Richards pitched a five-hitter for his first career shutout, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols had RBI doubles in a four-run first inning, and Angels opened the Freeway Series with a victory over the Dodgers.
Josh Hamilton homered in the sixth for the Angels, who improved the majors’ second-best record to 67-44 with their seventh win in 10 games.
Richards (12-4) was dominant in his first nine-inning complete game, striking out nine and retiring 15 of 16 in the middle innings with a fastball regularly hitting 158 kph. He finished his first victory in four starts by getting pinch-hitter Andre Ethier on a groundout.
Richards outpitched Zack Greinke (12-7), who has just one victory in his last five starts.
Cain done for season
New York AP
San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain will have season-ending surgery next week to remove bone chips in his right elbow.
Manager Bruce Bochy said “it was inevitable” that Cain would have surgery. Bochy said after Monday’s 4-3 win over the New York Mets that Cain would have the operation and look forward to getting ready for spring training.
The 29-year-old Cain hasn’t pitched since July 9. The three-time All-Star played catch at Citi Field on Friday to test out how he was feeling.
Cain was 2-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 15 starts.
The Giants are in the race for the NL West title. They recently acquired veteran pitcher Jake Peavy in a trade with Boston.
Aaron burglar sentenced
A man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for helping burglarize baseball legend Hank Aaron’s Atlanta home, stealing jewelry the ex-Brave planned to donate to the Hall of Fame and two cars.
Fulton County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said in a statement Monday that 24-year-old Isiah Slaton pleaded guilty to burglary and theft by taking and is ordered to spend 42 years on probation after prison. Jones says Slaton pleaded guilty to avoid going to trial.
Authorities have said Hank and Billye Aaron were out of town during the July 14, 2013 burglary. Jones says Slaton and two accomplices disabled the alarm.
Jury selection begins Tuesday against one of Slaton’s accomplices and a case is pending against the third suspect.