April 27, 2004: Mets Outlast Dodgers in Hitting War

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Date: April 27, 2004
Mets starter: Tom Glavine
Mets: 9
Dodgers: 5
Winning pitcher: Tom Glavine
Key player(s): Shane Spencer, Todd Zeile, Mike Piazza, Mike Cameron
Key play: Mets’ home runs, Cameron’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The teams combined for twenty-seven hits in the opener of a three-game series. The Mets came away with a 9-5 win.

Dodgers’ starter Hideo Nomo pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Cesar Izturis and Milton Bradley got back-to-back singles against the Mets’ Tom Glavine with one out in the bottom half. Shawn Green singled to drive home Izturis for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead and a single by Paul Lo Duca loaded the bases. Juan Encarnacion followed with a ground ball on which Glavine threw to catcher Mike Piazza for an out at home on Bradley. Adrian Beltre then popped out to first baseman Jason Phillips to end the inning.

Karim Garcia drew a walk to open the top of the second. Shane Spencer hit a two-run homer and Phillips flied out to center fielder Bradley. Todd Zeile homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-1 and Ricky Gutierrez was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Encarnacion. Nomo retired Glavine on an inning-ending grounder back to the mound and singled with one out in the bottom half. Dave Roberts hit a triple to drive home Nomo and scored the tying run on Izturis’s ensuing single. Bradley lined out to right fielder Garcia. Glavine then struck out Green to finish off the inning.

From the third inning to the fifth, Nomo and Glavine yielded a total of four hits in pitching scoreless ball. Piazza homered with one out in the top of the sixth to regain a one-run lead for the Mets. Garcia hit a single and Spencer went down on strikes. Nomo retired Phillips on a pop-up to second baseman Jose Hernandez for the inning’s final out. Glavine then set down the Dodgers in order in the bottom half.

With one out in the top of the seventh inning, Gutierrez singled against Los Angeles reliever Guillermo Mota. Gutierrez advanced to third base on pinch-hitter Eric Valent’s single and scored on Kazuo Matsui’s force play ground ball to Hernandez. Matsui stole second and moved to third on an error by catcher Lo Duca. Mike Cameron singled to bring home Matsui for a 6-3 Mets lead and stole second. Mota then fanned Piazza for the third out of the inning.

Bradley doubled against the Mets’ John Franco to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Green lined out to third baseman Zeile and New York reliever David Weathers retired Lo Duca on a ground ball to shortstop Matsui. Encarnacion hit a single to score Bradley with the Dodgers’ fourth run of the game. Beltre then grounded back to Weathers to close out the inning.

Spencer got a one-out single against Los Angeles reliever Brian Falkenborg in the top of the eighth. Phillips drew a walk and Zeile was called out on strikes. Gutierrez singled to drive home pinch-runner Jeff Duncan and a walk to Vance Wilson loaded the bases. Jose Lima came in to pitch for the Dodgers and fanned Matsui to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Hernandez hit a home run to reduce the Mets’ lead to 7-5. Pinch-hitter Robin Ventura singled and New York reliever Mike Stanton got pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz to hit a grounder to Matsui for a double play. Stanton then retired Izturis on a ground ball to Zeile to end the inning.

Cameron singled against the Dodgers’ Darren Dreifort to begin the top of the ninth. Mike advanced to second base on pinch-hitter Danny Garcia’s sacrifice bunt and Tom Martin came in to pitch for Los Angeles. Karim Garcia greeted Martin with a single that plated Cameron. Duncan followed with a force play grounder to third baseman Beltre. With Duaner Sanchez on the mound facing Phillips, Jeff stole second. Phillips singled for the game’s twenty-seventh hit to score Duncan with the Mets’ ninth run. Sanchez then issued a walk to Zeile and threw a called third strike past Gutierrez for the inning’s third out.

Mets’ reliever Braden Looper retired Bradley on a ground ball to Zeile to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Green grounded out to Phillips. Looper then got Lo Duca to line out to left fielder Duncan and end the game. The Mets had a victory in an offensive battle.