April 16, 2012: Mets Open Series with Win Over Braves

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Date: April 16, 2012
Mets starter: Dillon Gee
Mets: 6
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Dillon Gee
Key player(s): Ike Davis, Dillon Gee
Key play: Davis’s three-run homer

The Mets faced the Braves on a Monday night in Atlanta. The teams played the opening game of a three-game series. The Mets got off to a good start in the series with a 6-1 win.

After a scoreless first inning, Braves’ starter Tommy Hanson retired the Mets in order in the top of the second. Brian McCann singled to lead off the bottom half. Dan Uggla popped out to first baseman Ike Davis and a single by Jason Heyward advanced McCann to third base. Eric Hinske drew a walk to load the bases. A ground out by Jack Wilson to second baseman Daniel Murphy drove home McCann with the first run of the game. Mets’ starter Dillon Gee then struck out Hanson to end the inning.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis drew a walk to begin the top of the third. Nieuwenhuis moved to second base on Hanson’s errant pickoff throw and to third on Gee’s sacrifice bunt. Ruben Tejada grounded out to shortstop Wilson to score Nieuwenhuis and tie the game. Hanson got Murphy on a ground ball to first baseman Hinske for the third out of the inning. Gee then set down all three Atlanta batters in the bottom half.

Hanson and Gee each pitched scoreless ball in the fourth and fifth innings. Tejada doubled with one out in the top of the sixth. Murphy’s ground out to Hanson advanced Tejada to third base and David Wright was walked intentionally. Davis hit a three-run homer to give the Mets a 4-1 lead. Hanson retired Jason Bay on an inning-ending grounder to Wilson. Gee then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Josh Thole got a one-out infield single in the top of the seventh inning. Nieuwenhuis singled and a sacrifice bunt by Gee put Mets runners on second and third base. With Tejada at bat, Thole came home on a wild pitch. Hanson followed up by retiring Tejada on a fly ball to left fielder Martin Prado for the inning’s third out. To begin the bottom half, Uggla singled and Heyward reached on catcher Thole’s interference. Gee struck out Hinske and retired Wilson on a ground ball back to the mound. Dillon then fanned pinch-hitter Juan Francisco to close out the inning.

Braves’ reliever Livan Hernandez retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Michael Bourn singled against the Mets’ Jon Rauch to open the bottom of the inning. Prado and Chipper Jones were retired on consecutive fly balls to right fielder Lucas Duda. With McCann at the plate, Bourn stole second and third base. Rauch then got McCann to ground out to Murphy and end the inning.

Bay led off the top of the ninth with a homer for the Mets’ sixth run. Duda flied out to center fielder Bourn and a single by Thole ensued. Nieuwenhuis hit a grounder on which Hinske threw to Wilson for an out at second base on Thole. Hernandez then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Mike Baxter for the final out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Tim Byrdak retired Uggla on a fly ball to center fielder Nieuwenhuis to start the bottom of the ninth. Heyward was struck out on three pitches. Byrdak then fanned Hinske to end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the series in Atlanta.