April 23, 2007: Valentin and Delgado Slug Rockies

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Date: April 23, 2007
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 6
Rockies: 1
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): Jose Valentin, Carlos Delgado, Moises Alou
Key play: Valentin’s and Delgado’s home runs

The Mets faced the Rockies on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Jose Valentin and Carlos Delgado combined for six RBIs in a 6-1 Mets win over Colorado.

Mets’ starter John Maine retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. The Rockies’ Taylor Buchholz surrendered only a walk to Jose Reyes in the bottom half and Maine pitched a scoreless top of the second. Moises Alou drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Shawn Green hit a single and Valentin homered for a 3-0 Mets lead. Maine singled and Reyes followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Jamey Carroll. Jose stole second base and Buchholz got Paul Lo Duca on a fly ball to center fielder Steve Finley for the inning’s third out.

Maine hurled a perfect top of the third. Buchholz set down all three batters in the bottom half and Maine held the Mountain Men to a single by Todd Helton in the top of the fourth. Alou doubled to open the bottom of the inning. Moises advanced to third base on Green’s ground out to Buchholz and came home on Valentin’s sacrifice fly. Maine grounded out to shortstop Clint Barmes to end the inning and yielded just a single to Buchholz in the top of the fifth. Lo Duca hit a single with one out in the bottom half. Carlos Beltran was retired on a fly ball to Finley. Delgado was hit by a pitch and Buchholz got David Wright on a fly ball to right fielder Brad Hawpe to close out the inning.

Finley hit a double to begin the top of the sixth. Garrett Atkins went down on strikes and Helton drew a walk. Matt Holliday singled to drive home Finley and reduce the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Hawpe hit a force play grounder to second baseman Valentin. Yorvit Torrealba popped out to Valentin to end the inning and Alou doubled against Colorado reliever Zach McClellan to lead off the bottom half. Green grounded out to Carroll and an intentional walk to Valentin ensued. McClellan then struck out Maine and retired Reyes on a ground ball to first baseman Helton to finish off the inning.

Maine set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Beltran hit a one-out double against Rockies’ reliever Bobby Keppel in the bottom half. Delgado followed with a homer for the Mets’ fifth and sixth runs of the game. Wright drew a walk and Alou singled. Green was retired on a fly ball to Hawpe, after which Wright moved to third base. Keppel then got Valentin to ground out to Carroll and end the inning.

Maine and Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano combined for a scoreless top of the eighth. Keppel pitched a perfect bottom half and Torrealba walked against New York’s Ambiorix Burgos to open the top of the ninth. Barmes went down on strikes and pinch-hitter Jeff Baker popped out to Valentin. Carroll and Finley drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Burgos then retired Atkins on a pop-up to first baseman Delgado to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the series.