April 19, 2010: Five-Run 7th Buries Cubs

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Date: April 19, 2010
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 6
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Fernando Nieve
Key player(s): Angel Pagan, Jason Bay
Key play: Pagan’s home run, Bay’s double

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Monday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. The Mets scored five runs in the seventh inning for a 6-1 win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese gave up only a single to Jeff Baker in the top of the first. The Cubs’ Randy Wells pitched a perfect bottom half and Alfonso Soriano doubled with one out in the top of the second. Geovany Soto grounded out to third baseman David Wright and an intentional walk to Ryan Theriot followed. Wells grounded out to first baseman Ike Davis to end the inning and Jason Bay got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Jeff Francoeur popped out to shortstop Theriot and a single by Davis (in his first major league at bat) ensued. Wells then got Rod Barajas to hit a ground ball to third baseman Aramis Ramirez for an inning-ending double play.

After scoreless third and fourth innings, the Cubs had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the fifth. Niese struck out Xavier Nady and got Ramirez on a force play grounder to Wright that ended the inning. Alex Cora hit a two-out single in the bottom half. Niese singled and Angel Pagan drew a walk to load the bases. Luis Castillo followed with an infield single to drive home Cora for a 1-0 Mets lead. Wells then fanned Wright for the inning’s third out.

Soto drew a walk against Niese with one out in the top of the sixth. Theriot went down on strikes and Wells hit a single on which Soto advanced to third base via an error by shortstop Cora. Marlon Byrd singled against Mets’ reliever Fernando Nieve to score Soto and tie the game at 1-1. Baker grounded back to Nieve to close out the inning and Wells hurled a scoreless bottom half. Nieve then set down the side in order in the top of the seventh.

Chicago reliever James Russell hit Jose Reyes with a pitch to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Gary Matthews went down on strikes and Pagan homered to put the Mets ahead, 3-1. Castillo was retired on a line drive to left fielder Soriano. Wright drew a walk against the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija and stole second base. Bay hit a double to drive home Wright and moved to third as Francoeur reached on Ramirez’s error. Davis singled against Chicago’s Sean Marshall to bring home Bay and send Francoeur to third. With Barajas at the plate, Francoeur scored on a wild pitch to extend the New York lead to five runs. Marshall then retired Barajas on a grounder to Theriot to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jenrry Mejia surrendered only a walk to Soto in the top of the eighth. The Cubs’ Justin Berg hurled a perfect bottom half and Tyler Colvin was struck out to begin the top of the ninth. Byrd got hit by a pitch and Baker grounded out to second baseman Castillo. Derrek Lee drew a walk and Mejia threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the series.