April 28, 2006: Martinez and Wright Bury Braves

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Date: April 28, 2006
Mets starter: Pedro Martinez
Mets: 5
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: Pedro Martinez
Key player(s): Pedro Martinez, David Wright, Jose Reyes
Key play: Reyes’ triple, Wright’s two homers

The Mets faced the Braves on a Friday night in Atlanta. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Pedro Martinez pitched seven solid innings and David Wright hit two home runs in a 5-2 Mets win.

Jose Reyes drew a walk against Braves’ starter John Smoltz to lead off the top of the first. Paul Lo Duca singled to advance Reyes to third base and Carlos Delgado went down on strikes. Wright followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Reyes for a 1-0 Mets lead. Smoltz retired Cliff Floyd on a ground ball to first baseman Adam LaRoche to close out the inning. Martinez then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Kazuo Matsui got a leadoff single in the top of the fourth. Endy Chavez and Martinez were struck out and Matsui stole second base. Reyes tripled to score Matsui and increase the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Smoltz threw a called third strike past Lo Duca to end the inning and Martinez gave up only a double to Andruw Jones in the bottom half. Wright slugged a solo home run with one out in the top of the fifth. Smoltz got both Floyd and Xavier Nady on grounders to shortstop Edgar Renteria for the inning’s final outs. Martinez then hurled a perfect bottom half.

After setting down all three batters in the top of the sixth, Smoltz hit a single to begin the bottom of the inning. Marcus Giles flied out to right fielder Nady and a pop-up by Renteria was caught by first baseman Delgado. Chipper Jones connected for a home run to reduce the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Andruw Jones was called out on strikes to end the inning and the Mets failed to score after loading the bases against Smoltz in the top of the seventh. Martinez then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Braves’ reliever Mike Remlinger yielded just a bunt single to Chavez in the top of the eighth. The Mets’ Duaner Sanchez retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and Reyes got a bunt single against Atlanta’s Chris Reitsma to open the top of the ninth. Reyes stole second base and went to third on Lo Duca’s sacrifice bunt. Delgado hit a sacrifice fly to score Reyes for a 4-2 Mets lead. Wright followed with his second homer for the fifth New York run of the game. Reitsma then retired Floyd on a pop-up to third baseman Chipper Jones to finish off the inning.

Renteria got a single against Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner to open the bottom of the ninth. Chipper Jones went down on strikes and Andruw Jones got hit by a pitch. Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz was struck out and Jeff Francoeur singled to load the bases. Wagner then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Todd Pratt to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.