April 2, 2011: Mets Defeat Marlins in 10 Innings

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Date: April 2, 2011
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 6
Marlins: 4
Winning pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez
Key player(s): David Wright, Willie Harris
Key play: Wright’s single, Harris’s double

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Saturday night. The teams played the second game of a season-opening series at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. The Mets came away with a 6-4 win in 10 innings over Florida.

Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Leading off the bottom half, Chris Coghlan singled against the Mets’ Jonathon Niese. Omar Infante hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Brad Emaus and advanced to third base on an ensuing double by Hanley Ramirez. Gaby Sanchez drew a walk to load the bases and Logan Morrison singled to drive home Infante and Ramirez for a 2-0 Florida lead. Niese then retired John Buck on a fly ball to right fielder Carlos Beltran and got Donnie Murphy on a force play grounder to shortstop Jose Reyes to end the inning.

Nolasco and Niese each hurled scoreless second and third innings. In the top of the fourth, David Wright hit a leadoff homer for the Mets’ first run of the game. Nolasco set down the next three New York batters and Niese retired the Fish in order in the bottom of the inning. Following a scoreless fifth, Beltran singled with two outs in the top of the sixth. Ike Davis hit a double to score Beltran and tie the game. Nolasco retired Lucas Duda on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Ramirez. Niese then retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

After Nolasco and Niese hurled a scoreless seventh inning, Florida’s Clay Hensley and the Mets’ Bobby Parnell did the same in the eighth. To begin the top of the ninth, Davis drew a walk against Marlins’ reliever Leo Nunez. Consecutive ground outs by Duda and Emaus advanced pinch-runner Chin-lung Hu around to third base. A single by Josh Thole brought home Hu and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Nunez then struck out pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez struck out Morrison to start the bottom of the ninth. Buck hit a single and Scott Cousins went down on strikes. Emilio Bonifacio singled to send pinch-runner Brett Hayes to third base. An ensuing pinch-hit single by Greg Dobbs plated Hayes to retie the game. Coghlan drew a walk that loaded the bases. Rodriguez then got Infante on a pop-up to second baseman Hu for the inning’s final out.

Reyes singled against Florida’s Ryan Webb to open the top of the 10th inning. Angel Pagan got a bunt single and Wright singled to drive home Reyes with the go-ahead run. Michael Dunn came in to pitch for the Fish and recorded strikeouts of Beltran and Hu. With Willie Harris at bat, Pagan stole third base. Harris followed up with a double that scored Pagan and Wright to increase the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Dunn then struck out pinch-hitter Scott Hairston to finish off the inning.

To open the bottom of the 10th, Mets’ reliever Blaine Boyer got Ramirez to ground out to Reyes. Sanchez hit a double and Morrison flied out to left fielder Harris. Hayes singled to drive home Sanchez with the Marlins’ fourth run. Boyer then got Cousins on a force play ground ball to Reyes to end the game. The Mets had an extra-inning triumph for their first victory of the season.