April 27, 2011: Murphy Lifts Mets to Comeback Win

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Date: April 27, 2011
Mets starter: R. A. Dickey
Mets: 6
Nationals: 3
Winning pitcher: Pedro Beato
Key player(s): Daniel Murphy, Chin-lung Hu
Key play: Murphy’s homer and double, Hu’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Wednesday night in Washington. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Nationals Park. Daniel Murphy drove in three runs in the eighth and ninth innings to give the Mets a 6-3 win.

After two scoreless innings, Mike Nickeas singled to lead off the top of the third. Nickeas advanced to second base on R. A. Dickey’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Jose Reyes’ ground out to second baseman Danny Espinosa. Justin Turner hit a single to score Nickeas for a 1-0 Mets lead. Nats’ starter Tom Gorzelanny struck out David Wright to end the inning. Dickey then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Gorzelanny shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth. Jayson Werth hit a single to begin the bottom of the inning. Adam Laroche flied out to center fielder Scott Hairston and a single by Wilson Ramos moved Werth to third base. Michael Morse hit a sacrifice fly to score Werth with the tying run. Dickey got Jerry Hairston to hit an inning-ending force play ground ball to shortstop Reyes. Gorzelanny then pitched a perfect top of the fifth.

Alex Cora singled to open the bottom of the fifth inning. Cora went to second base on Gorzelanny’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Espinosa’s ground out to first baseman Ike Davis. An ensuing double by Rick Ankiel brought home Cora and put the Nationals ahead, 2-1. Dickey retired Werth on a grounder to Davis that closed out the inning and Gorzelanny held the Mets to a single by Wright in the top of the sixth. With two outs in the bottom half, Morse singled and Jerry Hairston drew a walk. Dickey then got Cora to fly out to right fielder Carlos Beltran and end the inning.

Gorzelanny and Washington reliever Tyler Clippard combined to pitch a scoreless top of the seventh. Dickey and the Mets’ Ryota Igarashi teamed up to shut down the Nats in the bottom half. Reyes hit a one-out double in the top of the eighth inning. Trying to lengthen his own hit, Jose was out via a throw by center fielder Ankiel to third baseman Jerry Hairston. Pinch-hitter Murphy came to bat and homered to tie the game. Clippard then walked Wright and retired Beltran on a fly ball to Ankiel for the inning’s final out.

LaRoche doubled against Mets’ reliever Pedro Beato to open the bottom of the eighth. A passed ball by catcher Josh Thole allowed LaRoche to move to third base. Ramos followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home pinch-runner Brian Bixler for a 3-2 Washington lead. Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs lined out to left fielder Jason Bay. Beato then got Jerry Hairston to pop out to Davis and finish off the inning.

Bay and Davis got back-to-back singles against Nationals’ reliever Sean Burnett to begin the top of the ninth. Willie Harris got a bunt single to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Chin-lung Hu hit a sacrifice fly to plate Bay with the tying run as the other runners advanced to third and second. Thole grounded out to shortstop Bixler to drive home Davis and give the Mets a 4-3 lead. Reyes was given an intentional walk. Murphy followed with a double that scored Harris and Reyes with the Mets’ fifth and sixth runs. Washington’s Drew Storen then came in to pitch and fanned Wright for the third out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez retired Cora on a grounder to Davis to start the bottom of the ninth. Roger Bernadina hit a double and Espinosa went down on strikes. Rodriguez then got Ankiel to ground out to second baseman Hu and end the game. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory to extend their winning streak to six games.