April 25, 2009: Three-Run Innings Bury Nationals

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Date: April 25, 2009
Mets starter: Mike Pelfrey
Mets: 8
Nationals: 2
Winning pitcher: Mike Pelfrey
Key player(s): Mike Pelfrey, Ryan Church, Carlos Beltran
Key play: Nationals’ three errors, Church’s two singles

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. The teams played the second of three games in a series. The Mets scored three runs in both the first and sixth innings and came away with an 8-2 win over Washington.

Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey pitched a scoreless top of the first. With two outs in the bottom half, Carlos Beltran singled and Carlos Delgado drew a walk. David Wright followed with a fly ball on which center fielder Elijah Dukes made an error. Beltran and Delgado came around to score on the miscue as Wright reached second base. Ryan Church followed with a single to drive home Wright for a 3-0 Mets lead. Nats’ starter Daniel Cabrera then struck out Omir Santos to finish off the inning.

Pelfrey surrendered only a walk to Adam Dunn in the top of the second. Luis Castillo singled to open the bottom half. Castillo advanced to second base on Pelfrey’s sacrifice bunt and to third on a single by Jose Reyes. On his own hit, Reyes went to second via a throw. Daniel Murphy was retired on a pop-up to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Beltran singled to score Castillo and send Reyes to third. A wild pitch moved Beltran to second and Delgado walked to load the bases. Cabrera then got Wright to ground out to second baseman Anderson Hernandez and end the inning.

Pelfrey shut down the Nationals in the top of the third. Santos got a one-out single against Cabrera in the bottom half. Castillo drew a walk and Pelfrey laid down a bunt on which first baseman Nick Johnson made a throwing error. On the play, Castillo came home to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Reyes drew a walk to load the bases and Washington reliever Jason Bergmann retired Murphy on a foul pop-up to Zimmerman. Bergmann then got Beltran to fly out to left fielder Josh Willingham and close out the inning.

Zimmerman got an infield single to lead off the top of the fourth. A wild pitch sent Zimmerman to second base and Dunn grounded out to third baseman Wright. Dukes singled to score Zimmerman with the Nats’ first run and Willingham drew a walk. Alberto Gonzalez hit a ground ball to Wright for an inning-ending double play and Bergmann hurled a perfect bottom half. Pelfrey set down the Nationals on three straight infield grounders in the top of the fifth. The Mets went down in order in the bottom of the inning and consecutive singles by Johnson and Zimmerman opened the top of the sixth. Dunn followed with a double play ground ball to second baseman Castillo. Dukes tripled to score Johnson and cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Pelfrey was then replaced on the mound by New York reliever Sean Green, who retired Willingham on a fly ball to right fielder Church that ended the inning.

Murphy singled against Bergmann with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Beltran hit a single to advance Murphy to third base and Delgado popped out to shortstop Gonzalez. With Wright at bat, Beltran stole second and moved on to third via an error by catcher Wil Nieves that allowed Murphy to score. Wright drew a walk and Saul Rivera came in to pitch for the Nats. With Church at the plate, Wright stole second. Church followed with a single to bring home Beltran and Wright with the Mets’ seventh and eighth runs of the game. Rivera then retired Santos on a pop-up to Hernandez for the inning’s third out.

Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. Washington’s Julian Tavares hurled a perfect bottom half and New York’s Brian Stokes gave up just a single to Dunn in the top of the eighth. Nationals’ reliever Joel Hanrahan set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and Gonzalez lined out to left fielder Jeremy Reed to begin the top of the ninth. Nieves grounded out to shortstop Reyes and a double by pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell ensued. Hernandez and Johnson drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Stokes then got Zimmerman to fly out to Church and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory with a pair of three-run innings.