April 1, 2013: Mets Romp Padres on Opening Day

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Date: April 1, 2013
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 11
Padres: 2
Winning pitcher: Jonathon Niese
Key player(s): Jonathon Niese, Ruben Tejada, Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill,
Key play: Tejada’s double, Byrd’s two singles, Cowgill’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Padres on a Monday afternoon. The teams played on Opening Day in front of 41,053 fans at Citi Field. The Mets started off the year solidly with an 11-2 win over San Diego.

Following a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese pitched a perfect top of the second. John Buck drew a walk against the Padres’ Edison Volquez with two outs in the bottom half. Ruben Tejada doubled to drive home Buck and advanced to third base on a throw to the plate. Niese followed with a single to score Tejada for a 2-0 Mets lead. Volquez then struck out Collin Cowgill to finish off the inning.

Chris Denorfia drew a one-out walk in the top of the third. Everth Cabrera was hit by a pitch and Yonder Alonso flied out to left fielder Lucas Duda. Carlos Quentin singled to bring home Denorfia and a strikeout of Jedd Gyorko ended the inning. With one out in the bottom half, David Wright hit a single to right field. Wright stole second base and moved to third on Ike Davis’s ground out to second baseman Gyorko. Marlon Byrd singled to score Wright and a walk to Duda ensued. Buck hit a single that plated Byrd and increased the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Volquez then threw a called third strike past Tejada for the inning’s final out.

Niese retired all three San Diego batters in the top of the fourth inning. To begin the bottom half, Jonathon walked and advanced to third base on Cowgill’s double to left field. Daniel Murphy singled against Padres’ reliever Anthony Bass to drive home Niese and send Cowgill to third. Murphy went to second on a wild pitch and Wright grounded out to third baseman Gyorko (who had shifted from second) to score Cowgill. Davis was struck out and Byrd singled to bring home Murphy, increasing the Mets’ lead to 7-1. Bass then got Duda on a fly ball to left fielder Quentin for the third out of the inning.

Niese set down the side on three consecutive infield grounders in the top of the fifth. Bass held the Mets to a single by Niese in the bottom half and Alonso homered to lead off the top of the sixth. Quentin grounded out to third baseman Wright and a double by Gyorko followed. Nick Hundley went down on strikes and Cameron Maybin grounded back to Niese to close out the inning. Bass then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Niese and Mets’ reliever Brandon Lyon combined to pitch a scoreless top of the seventh. Duda drew a walk against San Diego’s Brad Brach with one out in the bottom of the inning. Buck and Tejada got back-to-back singles to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin followed with a grounder on which first baseman Alonso threw to catcher Hundley for an out at home on pinch-runner Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Cowgill hit a grand slam to extend the Mets’ lead to nine runs. Murphy got an infield single and the Padres’ Dale Thayer issued a walk to Wright. Following a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third, Thayer fanned Davis to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Scott Atchison retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the top of the eighth. Thayer and San Diego’s Joe Thatcher combined for a perfect bottom half. For New York, Scott Rice (in his major league debut) struck out Hundley to open the top of the ninth inning. Maybin also went down on strikes. Rice then got Will Venable to ground out to second baseman Murphy and end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the new season.