April 12, 2004: Mets Beat Braves in Home Opener

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Date: April 12, 2004
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 10
Braves: 6
Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel
Key player(s): Steve Trachsel, Kazuo Matsui, Mike Cameron
Key play: Trachsel’s and Matsui’s doubles, Cameron’s single and double

The Mets faced the Braves on a Monday afternoon. A crowd of 53,666 was on hand for the home opener at Shea Stadium. The Mets scored ten runs in the first five innings and came away with a 10-6 win over Atlanta.

Mets’ starter Steve Trachsel pitched a scoreless top of the first. Shane Spencer singled against the Braves’ Mike Hampton with two outs in the bottom half. Todd Zeile hit a single and Mike Cameron singled to drive home Spencer. Jason Phillips hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Jesse Garcia for the third out and Trachsel set down the side in order in the top of the second. Ty Wigginton got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Joe McEwing grounded out to third baseman Mark DeRosa and a double by Trachsel brought home Wigginton. Steve advanced to third base on Kazuo Matsui’s single and scored on Ricky Gutierrez’s ground out to second baseman Marcus Giles for a 3-0 Mets lead. Hampton then retired Spencer on a grounder to Garcia to close out the inning.

Trachsel shut down the Braves in the top of the third. Zeile singled against Hampton to begin the bottom half. Cameron went down on strikes and Phillips hit a single. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Wigginton was walked intentionally to load the bases. McEwing drew a walk to force home Zeile and a ground out by Trachsel (to Garcia) plated Phillips. Matsui hit a double to drive home Wigginton and McEwing, increasing the Mets’ lead to 7-0. Atlanta reliever Antonio Alfonseca then retired Gutierrez on a grounder to Giles to close out the inning.

Trachsel hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Zeile got a one-out single in the bottom half. Cameron doubled to bring home Zeile and came around to score on a single by Phillips. Wigginton flied out to left fielder DeWayne Wise and a walk to McEwing ensued. Alfonseca fanned Trachsel to end the inning and Steve gave up only a single to Garcia in the top of the fifth. Matsui drew a walk against Braves’ reliever Juan Cruz to open the bottom half. Gutierrez reached on an error by third baseman Mike Hessman. Spencer doubled to drive home Matsui for a 10-0 Mets lead. Zeile popped out to Giles and a fly ball by Cameron was caught by right fielder J. D. Drew. Cruz then got Phillips on a ground ball to Hessman for the inning’s final out.

Drew drew a one-out walk in the top of the sixth. Andruw Jones hit a single and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third base. Julio Franco grounded out to shortstop Matsui to score Drew with the Braves’ first run. Trachsel retired Johnny Estrada on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Spencer. Atlanta reliever C. J. Nitkowski then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Orber Moreno set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. The Braves’ Kevin Gryboski hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and Drew slugged a solo home run against New York’s Grant Roberts in the top of the eighth. Jones hit a single and Franco drew a walk. Estrada followed with a homer to reduce the Mets’ lead to 10-5. Roberts threw a called third strike past Garcia to finish off the inning. Atlanta reliever Chris Reitsma then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Wise and Adam LaRoche got back-to-back singles against Mets’ reliever Dan Wheeler with one out in the top of the ninth. Giles reached on Wheeler’s error to load the bases and pinch-hitter Eddie Perez singled to bring home Wise with the Braves’ sixth run. New York’s Braden Looper got Jones to hit a ground ball to Matsui for a double play that ended the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the home portion of the season.