Scott Hairston's name was floating in rumors as the days melted away before the trading deadline. But as the days turned to hours, the New York Mets were certainly thrilled to still have the veteran outfielder.
Hairston hit two homers, a game-tying shot in the eighth and a go-ahead blast in the 10th, to lift the Mets to a knock-down, drag-out 8-7, 10-inning victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night at AT&T Park.
With the trading deadline approaching at 4 pm EDT on Tuesday, about six hours before the Mets and Giants continue their series, Hairston may have played his last games in a Mets uniform.
Or maybe not.
"I'm expecting to be in the dugout tomorrow, definitely," Hairston said. "But I really can't foresee the future, so I'm going to go back to the hotel and relax and watch some TV and not think about it."
Mets manager Terry Collins said he's gotten no indication so far that Hairston will be dealt.
"I'm really hoping he's in our uniform, and I have no reason to believe he won't be," Collins said. "If he's moved, it's for a piece that will genuinely help make us better. I hope he's still here."
If this were his final game with the Mets, he ended in somewhat predictable fashion, by beating the Giants.
Hairston has hit just 89 homers in his career, and 14 of them have come against the Giants. It was the second time in Hairston's career he hit game-tying and go-ahead homers against San Francisco in one game, also having done it on Aug. 3, 2007, with the Padres.
"I try my best against every team," Hairston said. "It just so happens I've had a lot of success against this team. I don't try to do anything different. It just happens that way."
The Giants were just two innings from snapping their four-game losing streak when Sergio Romo, their outstanding setup man, took the mound in the eighth with a 4-2 lead.
He gave up a two-run homer to Hairston, and then two more runs. Romo had allowed only 12 hits to right-handed batters all year, but he gave up three in the eighth inning. He'd given up four runs all season, and he matched that total in the eighth.
"It's just baseball," Romo said. "There are a lot of things you can't control. Things I can control are the pitches I made. When I don't execute, this is what happens."
Even after Romo's meltdown allowed the Mets to take a 6-4 lead, the Giants bounced back. They scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game.
Melky Cabrera led off the inning with a single against closer Bobby Parnell, and Cabrera scored on Buster Posey's double. Pinch runner Eli Whiteside went to third on Gregor Blanco's grounder to second. Nate Schierholtz tied the game with a double under the glove of first baseman Ike Davis, who appeared to be rushing to try to hold the runner at third.
The Giants eventually loaded the bases on Justin Christian's walk and a Joaquin Arias infield single, but Marco Scutaro struck out to send the game to extra innings.
Hairston then gave the Mets the lead again with his homer against Santiago Casilla. The Mets got an insurance run that turned out to be vital when Giants reliever Clay Hensley inexplicably failed to look home in time after fielding a comebacker.
That run turned out to be the difference after the Giants got one run back in the bottom of the 10th.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, who was in line for the victory when he left the game, gave up two runs in six innings.
NOTES: Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff hurt his knee trying to beat out a potential double play in the sixth inning. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday. .... Outfielder Angel Pagan left the game after bruising his right hand after punching something in anger during the game, manager Bruce Bochy said. ... Mets outfielder Andres Torres had to come out of the game because he was unable to hit left-handed after hurting his hand on a collision at first base in the fifth inning. ... Mets outfielder Mike Baxter returned to the active roster two months after he separated his right shoulder making a catch that preserved Johan Santana's no-hitter. He took the roster spot of Kirk Niewenhuis, who was optioned to the minors after Sunday's game. ... Scutaro batted leadoff for the first time since joining the Giants. Schierholtz, who had been hitting leadoff recently, was moved to sixth in the lineup. ... Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval (hamstring) is continuing to rehab and may be ready to be activated when he's eligible on Aug. 9.