NEW YORK -- There were singles and doubles and even a grand slam. One hit glanced off a fielder's glove. Another cleared the left-field fence. The rest found patches of outfield grass.
The resulting 12-run third inning not only sent the Mets to their seventh straight victory, a 13-1 bludgeoning of the Giants at Citi Field on Friday, but also created a chunk of history in the process. The Mets sent 15 batters to the plate against Giants pitchers Jake Peavy and Mike Broadway, who retired three of them and allowed the other dozen to score. It was the largest single-inning offensive output in Mets franchise history, surpassing an 11-run inning in 2006.
"It's not a good feeling, just because you know the hole you put the team in," he said.
But, he added, "It wasn't like I was spraying it everywhere. I felt better than the five walks. ... I was trying to figure out where [plate umpire] Gabe [Morales] wanted it."
The 12 runs the Giants allowed in the third were the most they've permitted in one inning since the Expos racked up 13 on May 7, 1997, in the sixth inning at Candlestick Park.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED A dominant dozen: The most prolific inning in Mets history began, as so many memorable rallies do, with a simple leadoff walk. By the time the Mets were done, they had sent 15 batters to the plate, drawn four free passes, rapped out eight hits and iced the whole thing with Cespedes' slam.
"Every ball seemed to find a hole, and then Ces with the big homer," Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki said. "Everybody seemed to be barreling balls up that inning."
Early waste: Five Giants reached base safely, all on singles, in the first three innings. But San Francisco never received the key hit that might have unraveled Mets starter Steven Matz. Hunter Pence grounded out sharply to shortstop to leave two runners aboard in the first inning, Brandon Crawford followed Brandon Belt's second-inning leadoff single by striking out on a foul tip before Belt was caught stealing for a double play and Buster Posey popped up with runners at the corners to end the third inning.
Working with wiggle room: Since giving up seven runs in his 2016 debut, Matz has won three consecutive games with a 0.93 ERA. The third of those came Friday, when Matz delivered six scoreless innings against the Giants. He fanned four, walked three and scattered seven hits, pitching his final three innings with a feathery 12-run cushion.
"That's definitely behind me now," Matz said of his seven-run debut. "I'm just looking forward now and trying to focus a little more each start and take the positives from each start. ... It's nice to have the run support, for sure."
On Broadway: Once a reliever's ERA becomes inflated, it could take him all season to shrink it to a respectable number, since he'll probably work only one inning at a time. Such is the fate of Broadway, whose ERA soared from 3.86 to 11.81 due to the six runs he yielded in the third inning.
Occupying the unfamiliar role of long reliever, Broadway worked three innings. Giants manager Bruce Bochy praised his diligence.
"That's what you need in a game like that, when you get your starter early," the skipper said. Otherwise, Bochy pointed out, the Giants might have had to exhaust the bullpen.
"You just get used to him doing something big. And he came through again." -- Collins, on Cespedes
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Since badly bruising his right leg April 13, Cespedes has appeared in nine games. The outfielder has recorded at least one extra-base hit in all of them, his grand slam off Broadway establishing a franchise-record streak. Ty Wigginton held the Mets' previous mark with an extra-base hit in eight consecutive games in 2004. Cespedes' six RBIs in the third inning also passed Butch Huskey for tops in a single inning in franchise history.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: Beginning at 1:05 p.m. PT on Saturday, San Francisco will attempt to rebound from its lopsided series-opening defeat behind Matt Cain, who's coming off mixed results last Sunday. Cain allowed 10 hits and walked two in 5 2/3 innings yet surrendered just four runs. He owns a 6-5 record with a 3.23 ERA in 14 career starts against the Mets.
Mets: The Mets will continue rolling out their top-flight arms against the Giants when Jacob deGrom starts Saturday's 4:05 p.m. ET rematch at Citi Field. Undefeated both this season overall and in his career against the Giants, deGrom will put both streaks on the line in his third start of the year.