April 29, 2012: Mets Defeat Rockies in 11 Innings

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Date: April 29, 2012
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 6
Rockies: 5
Winning pitcher: Frank Francisco
Key player(s): Todd Helton, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Carlos Gonzalez, Ike Davis
Key play: Helton’s grand slam, Davis’s single in 11th

The Mets faced the Rockies on a Sunday afternoon at Coors Field in Denver. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets came away with a 6-5 win in 11 innings over Colorado.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada opened the top of the first with consecutive singles to center field. Daniel Murphy went down on strikes. A double by David Wright drove home Nieuwenhuis and Tejada and a walk to Lucas Duda followed. Wright stole third base and scored the Mets’ third run on a single by Scott Hairston. Ike Davis singled to load the bases. Rockies’ starter Jamie Moyer struck out Josh Thole and got Johan Santana on an inning-ending line drive to right fielder Michael Cuddyer. Santana then held the Mountain Men to a single by Carlos Gonzalez in a scoreless bottom half.

Santana and Moyer each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Leading off the top of the fifth, Hairston was robbed of a hit by third baseman Chris Nelson and thrown out at first. Davis was struck out and a home run by Thole increased the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Moyer fanned Santana to close out the inning and Nelson doubled with one out in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera hit a fly ball on which center fielder Nieuwenhuis made a diving catch. Santana then got Marco Scutaro on a ground ball back to the mound for the third out of the inning.

Colorado reliever Josh Roenicke shut down the Mets in the top of the sixth. Santana held the Rockies without a run in the bottom half. The Mets failed to score against Roenicke and reliever Rex Brothers in the top of the seventh. For New York, Miguel Batista pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. Nieuwenhuis got a two-out single against Brothers in the top of the eighth. Facing reliever Edgmer Escalona, Tejada reached on an error by Nelson. Escalona then threw a called third strike past Murphy to end the inning.

Dexter Fowler got a one-out single against the Mets’ Jon Rauch in the bottom of the eighth. Gonzalez drew a walk and Troy Tulowitzki’s ground out to Rauch advanced the runners to second and third base. Cuddyer drew a walk to load the bases. Tim Byrdak came in to pitch and surrendered a grand slam to pinch-hitter Todd Helton that tied the game. Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell then struck out Ramon Hernandez to finish off the inning.

Wright drew a walk against the Rockies’ Rafael Betancourt to open the top of the ninth. David moved to second base on Duda’s ground out to second baseman Scutaro and to third on a balk. Betancourt threw a called third strike past Hairston and got Davis on an inning-ending line drive to Scutaro. Parnell then retired all three Colorado batters on infield grounders in the bottom half to send the game onward.

Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter got a one-out single against Colorado’s Matt Belisle in the top of the 10th inning. Nieuwenhuis doubled to left field to drive home Baxter and put the Mets ahead, 5-4. Tejada hit a ground ball to shortstop Tulowitzki on which Nieuwenhuis was out at third base. Belisle got Murphy to ground out to Scutaro and end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Gonzalez homered against Mets’ reliever Frank Francisco to retie the game. Tulowitzki got an infield single and Cuddyer went down on strikes. Francisco then walked Helton and got Hernandez on a pop-up to Davis for the third out of the inning.

Wright singled to lead off the top of the 11th. Duda hit a single on which Wright advanced to third base. Hairston hit a force play grounder to Nelson and a single by Davis scored Wright to reclaim the lead for the Mets. Belisle then got Thole on a grounder to Tulowitzki for an inning-ending double play.

Mets’ reliever Ramon Ramirez struck out Nelson to begin the bottom of the 11th inning. Pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario flied out to Nieuwenhuis. Ramirez then got Scutaro on a fly ball to left fielder Hairston to end the game. The Mets had a thrilling victory in extra innings.