April 20, 2006: Six Runs in 8th Beat Padres

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Date: April 20, 2006
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 7
Padres: 2
Winning pitcher: Duaner Sanchez
Key player(s): Kazuo Matsui, Julio Franco, Carlos Delgado
Key play: Matsui’s inside-the-park home run, Franco’s and Delgado’s homers

The Mets faced the Padres on a Thursday night in San Diego. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. The Mets scored six runs in the eighth inning for a 7-2 win.

Padres’ starter Jake Peavy retired the side on three straight outfield fly balls in the top of the first. Dave Roberts tripled against the Mets’ Steve Trachsel to lead off the bottom half. Josh Barfield went down on strikes and Brian Giles hit a single to drive home Roberts for a 1-0 San Diego lead. Mike Piazza grounded to third baseman David Wright for an inning-ending double play and Peavy pitched a scoreless top of the second. Trachsel then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Leading off the top of the third, Kazuo Matsui hit an inside-the-park home run to tie the game. Peavy retired the next three Mets batters to end the inning and Ben Johnson singled to begin the bottom half. Johnson advanced to second base on Peavy’s ground out to shortstop Jose Reyes and scored on a single by Roberts for a 2-1 Padres lead. On his own hit, Roberts went to second via a throw. Trachsel then got Barfield to fly out to right fielder Xavier Nady and retired Giles on a grounder to second baseman Matsui to finish off the inning.

Trachsel and Peavy each pitched one-hit scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. Peavy gave up only a single to Carlos Delgado in the top of the seventh and Khalil Greene singled to open the bottom half. Vinny Castilla drew a walk and Trachsel was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Chad Bradford. Johnson greeted Bradford with a single that loaded the bases. New York’s Pedro Feliciano retired pinch-hitter Geoff Blum on a pop-up to first baseman Delgado. The Mets’ Duaner Sanchez then got pinch-hitter Eric Young to hit a double play grounder to Wright for the inning’s final outs.

Nady doubled against San Diego reliever Scott Linebrink to lead off the top of the eighth. Matsui grounded out to third baseman Castilla and a two-run homer by pinch-hitter Julio Franco put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Reyes hit a single and stole second base. Paul Lo Duca was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Johnson, after which Reyes moved to third. Endy Chavez got a bunt single against the Padres’ Alan Embree to drive home Reyes. Delgado followed with a home run for a 6-2 New York lead. Wright drew a walk and stole second. Cliff Floyd hit a single to bring home Wright with the Mets’ sixth run of the inning and seventh of the game. San Diego’s Scott Cassidy struck out Nady to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Pinch-hitter Jose Valentin got a one-out single against Padres’ reliever Jon Adkins in the top of the ninth. Reyes singled and Adkins got Lo Duca to hit a ground ball to Castilla for an inning-ending double play. The Mets’ Jorge Julio retired Adrian Gonzalez on a grounder to Matsui to start the bottom half. Greene went down on strikes. Julio then fanned Castilla for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the series.