April 26, 2008: Four Runs in 3rd Put Away Braves

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Date: April 26, 2008
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 4
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church
Key play: Beltran’s double, Church’s triple

The Mets faced the Braves on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. The Mets scored four runs in the third inning for a 4-3 win over Atlanta.

Kelly Johnson drew a two-out walk against Mets’ starter John Maine in the top of the first. Mark Teixeira doubled to drive home Johnson for a 1-0 Braves lead. Brian McCann flied out to center fielder Carlos Beltran to end the inning and Atlanta’s Tim Hudson pitched a scoreless bottom half. Maine set down the side in order in the top of the second and Damion Easley singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Gustavo Molina hit a single and Hudson fanned Maine for the inning’s third out.

Hudson singled to open the top of the third. Gregor Blanco flied out to left fielder Endy Chavez and a walk to Mark Kotsay ensued. Johnson went down on strikes and Teixeira walked to load the bases. With McCann at bat, a wild pitch brought home Hudson and increased the Braves’ lead to 2-0. Maine then got McCann to ground out to first baseman Carlos Delgado and finish off the inning.

Chavez and David Wright got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the third. Beltran followed with a double to drive home Chavez and Wright, tying the game at 2-2. Ryan Church tripled to score Beltran and came home with the Mets’ fourth run on Delgado’s ground out to first baseman Teixeira. Easley doubled and Hudson retired Molina on an inning-ending line drive to third baseman Martin Prado. Maine yielded just a single to Prado in the top of the fourth. Atlanta reliever Buddy Carlyle then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Maine retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. Carlyle and Braves’ relievers Royce Ring and Jeff Bennett teamed up for a scoreless bottom of the inning and Jeff Francoeur got a two-out double against the Mets’ Aaron Heilman in the top of the sixth. Prado singled to bring home Francoeur with the Braves’ third run of the game. Heilman retired Brent Lillibridge on a grounder to second baseman Easley to close out the inning and pinch-hitter Angel Pagan tripled with one out in the bottom half. Jose Reyes hit a ground ball on which Teixeira threw to catcher McCann for an out at home on Pagan. Reyes stole second base and Bennett retired Chavez on a line drive to shortstop Lillibridge for the inning’s final out.

Mets’ reliever Scott Schoeneweis gave up only a walk to Blanco in the top of the seventh. Atlanta’s Jorge Campillo struck out the side in order in the bottom half and McCann singled against New York’s Pedro Feliciano with one out in the top of the eighth. The Mets’ Duaner Sanchez got Francoeur to hit a double play grounder to shortstop Reyes that finished off the inning and Molina drew a two-out walk in the bottom half. Campillo then fanned pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner retired Prado on a fly ball to Beltran to start the top of the ninth. Lillibridge was called out on strikes. Wagner then got Matt Diaz to ground out to Reyes and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a solid victory.