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Tejada makes key error, Mets swept by Rockies

Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 2:52am  ET

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada overthrows to first base allowing two runs to score for the Colorado Rockies during the eighth inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Denver. The Rockies beat the Mets 9-8 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

PAT GRAHAM
AP Sports Writer

DENVER (AP) -- Ruben Tejada refused to blame his frozen fingers for an errant throw that let the Colorado Rockies tie the game.

It was a play he should've made, the New York Mets shortstop acknowledged -- a throw he would like to have again.

Tejada's error in the eighth inning helped the Rockies erase a six-run deficit. In the 10th, Jordan Pacheco singled home the winning run and Colorado won 9-8 on Tuesday night to sweep a frigid doubleheader.

"I was freezing to death. It's tough, tough to play in that weather but you have to play," Tejada said. "It was a bad throw, a really bad throw. With that situation with the game on the line, it's a really bad error."

The Mets were off their game in the wintry weather.

In the opener, Dillon Gee (0-3) couldn't hold an early lead and the Rockies beat the Mets 8-4 in a game that was delayed 2 hours as 8 inches of snow was cleared off the field.

"It was a long day," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Indeed, it was.

Early in the day, Rockies owner Dick Monfort took the field with a shovel and helped clear the way for the first game to be played. A crew of team employees lent a hand as well, as did Sandy Alderson, the general manager of the Mets.

Players bounced around in the field and blew on their hands as they attempted to stay warm in the nightcap. Pacheco even wore a face mask with only his eyes peeking out.

His sharp single through the right side of the infield brought in Carlos Gonzalez. Rockies players jumped out of the dugout and mobbed Pacheco after he touched first base.

Rafael Betancourt (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the win. Greg Burke (0-1) took the loss on a long day of chilly baseball. The temperature at first pitch for the nightcap was 36 degrees.

"We haven't had to play games when it's been this cold, this long," Collins said.

Burke pitched carefully to Gonzalez with two outs in the 10th and ended up walking the slugger. Michael Cuddyer then sent a sharp grounder wide of David Wright at third base, and the ball deflected off his glove into left field. A hustling Gonzalez made it all the way to third, setting up Pacheco's winning hit.

The play originally was scored an error on Wright, who homered twice in the opener. But it was changed to a hit moments after the game.

Colorado rallied to tie it 8-all with two runs in the eighth inning, courtesy of two Mets miscues. With two outs and nobody on, reliever Brandon Lyon booted a grounder back to him for an error.

After Gonzalez singled, Bobby Parnell was summoned to face Cuddyer, who hit a chopper to Tejada. In this frosty weather, though, nothing has been routine and Tejada threw high and wide to first base, allowing both runners to score on his sixth error of the season.

"It's really tough playing in these conditions. The ball, he just didn't get a grip on it," Collins said. "It happens."

New York relied on seven relievers in the nightcap after Aaron Laffey lasted four innings.

Jeff Francis was roughed up for eight runs -- six earned -- in 4 1-3 innings but was taken off the hook when Colorado came back.

The Mets opened an 8-2 lead with a five-run fifth in which they sent 11 batters to the plate. Marlon Byrd drove in two with a single, while Justin Turner, Tejada and pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin also added RBI hits.

But no lead is safe at Coors Field and Colorado quickly answered in the bottom half. Backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba delivered a two-run double as the Rockies scored four times.

Helton and Troy Tulowitzki were not in the starting lineup for the nightcap.

For Helton, it was welcomed news, since he doesn't particularly care for cold-weather games. Tulowitzki was held out as a precaution after he was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Gee.

The All-Star shortstop was brought in to pinch hit with the bases loaded in the seventh, but struck out on three pitches from Scott Atchison.

One day after a spring storm postponed the first game of the series, the teams played a pair in frigid conditions. The temperature for the opener was 39 degrees.

At least the Mets were finally back on the field after cold weather postponed two straight games. Wintry conditions in Minneapolis on Sunday prompted their game against the Twins to be called off and rescheduled in August.

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