Daniel Muno provided the Fourth of July fireworks at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, but he needed a little help from teammate Cesar Puello to enjoy the moment after the game.
Muno drove in seven runs with a fifth inning grand slam and a three-run shot in the sixth frame to power Binghamton to a 7-6 Eastern League victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before 5,472 fans.
The surging Mets, who were 19-5 in the month of June, improved their record to a league best 52-30. New Hampshire (40-45) is now 13-1/2 games behind the Mets in the Eastern Division.
The game ended in dramatic fashion. In the home ninth with New Hampshire trailing 7-5, Brian Van Kirk singled with one out and pinch-hitter Jon Talley doubled him to third. After Adam Loewen fanned for the second out, Andy Burns singled to right fielder Puello, scoring Van Kirk. But pinch-runner Kevin Ahrens, in for Talley, was gunned down by Puello at the plate representing the tying run. The tag was made by catcher Blake Forsythe.
New Hampshire rallied for four runs in the third inning. Ryan Schimpf and Van Kirk each walked before Amadeo Zazueta plated Schimpf with a single to center. A fielding error by first baseman Richard Lucas allowed Loewen to reach and load the bases. Burns followed with a two-run single and later with two outs, Clint Robinson singled home the fourth run.
But New Hampshire starter and losing pitcher Marcus Walden (5-9) couldn’t protect the lead and couldn’t solve Muno, a switch hitter. The product of Fresno State, who was selected by the New York Mets in the eighth round (252nd overall) of the 2011 Amateur Draft, helped Binghamton erase a 4-0 deficit with one swing.
Travis Taijeron, Blake Forsythe and Wilfredo Tovar opened the fifth frame with three straight singles before Muno cleared the bases on a 1-0 delivery with a grand slam to right field for his fifth homer of the season.
In the sixth after two outs, singles by Forsythe and Tovar set the table again for Muno who launched his sixth season homer to right center for a 7-4 lead. In six innings, Walden allowed 10 hits and seven runs and two walks. He fanned four.
New Hampshire closed the gap to 7-5 in the eighth inning when Burns struck out and reached on a passed ball. He later scored on a force out. Jim Fuller got the win and Jeff Walters survived a shaky ninth inning to register his league-leading 22nd save.
Both teams resume their five-game series tonight at 7 p.m.