April 16, 2005: Castro's Single in 9th Beats Marlins

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Date: April 16, 2005
Mets starter: Pedro Martinez
Mets: 4
Marlins: 3
Winning pitcher: Braden Looper
Key player(s): Carlos Beltran, Mike Piazza, Victor Diaz, Ramon Castro
Key play: Beltran’s RBI single, Piazza’s and Diaz’s doubles, Castro’s single

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Ramon Castro hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 win over Florida.

Juan Pierre singled to lead off the top of the first. With Luis Castillo at bat, a pair of wild pitches advanced Pierre to second and third base. Castillo grounded out to second baseman Miguel Cairo to drive home Pierre for a 1-0 Marlins lead. Mets’ starter Pedro Martinez struck out both Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Delgado to end the inning. For the Fish, Al Leiter pitched a scoreless bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Castillo hit a leadoff single in the top of the fourth. Castillo stole second base and moved to third on Cabrera’s ground out to third baseman David Wright. Delgado reached on a third strike wild pitch that plated Castillo with the Marlins’ second run of the game. Mike Lowell was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Victor Diaz. Martinez got Paul Lo Duca on an inning-ending line drive to Wright and a double by Cairo began the bottom half. Cairo advanced to third base on Carlos Beltran’s single and scored on Mike Piazza’s double play ground ball to third baseman Lowell. Leiter then threw a called third strike past Chris Woodward to close out the inning.

Martinez and Leiter each pitched scoreless ball in the sixth and seventh. Mets’ reliever Mike DeJean hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. Diaz singled against Florida’s Todd Jones to open the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Kazuo Matsui’s sacrifice bunt moved Diaz to second base and a strikeout of Jose Reyes ensued. Cairo drew a walk and Beltran singled to bring home Diaz with the tying run. Piazza followed with a double that scored Cairo and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Marlins’ reliever Jim Mecir then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Eric Valent for the inning’s final out.

Cabrera singled against Mets’ reliever Braden Looper to lead off the top of the ninth. Delgado singled to send Cabrera to third base and Lowell flied out to Diaz. Lo Duca hit a grounder on which Cabrera was out at home via a throw by first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to catcher Castro. Juan Encarnacion hit a double to score Delgado and tie the game at 3-3. Looper then retired Alex Gonzalez on a fly ball to Diaz that closed out the inning.

Florida reliever Guillermo Mota retired Mientkiewicz on a ground ball to first baseman Delgado to begin the bottom of the ninth. Wright grounded out to second baseman Castillo and a double by Diaz ensued. Castro came to bat and delivered a single that brought home Diaz and ended the game. After starting the season with five straight defeats, the Mets had their sixth consecutive victory.