April 7, 2012: Duda Homers Twice in Win Over Braves

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Date: April 7, 2012
Mets starter: R. A. Dickey
Mets: 4
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: R. A. Dickey
Key player(s): Lucas Duda, Josh Thole
Key play: Thole’s RBI single, Duda’s two home runs

The Mets faced the Braves on a Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. The teams played the second game of a season-opening series. Lucas Duda hit a pair of home runs as the Mets defeated Atlanta, 4-2.

Mets’ starter R. A. Dickey pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With two outs in the bottom half, David Wright hit a home run against the Braves’ Jair Jurrjens to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Jurrjens retired Ike Davis on a fly ball to left fielder Martin Prado to end the inning. Dickey and Jurrjens each hurled scoreless second and third innings and Freddie Freeman singled with two outs in the top of the fourth. Freeman moved to second base on a passed ball by catcher Josh Thole and a walk to Jason Heyward followed. Dickey then got Juan Francisco on a line drive to center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the inning’s final out.

Duda homered with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning to increase the Mets’ lead to two runs. Thole grounded out to shortstop Tyler Pastornicky and Nieuwenhuis got an infield single. Dickey singled to left field and Ruben Tejada drew a walk to load the bases. Daniel Murphy was retired on an outfield fly ball to close out the inning and Michael Bourn drew a two-out walk in the top of the fifth. Prado followed with a home run that tied the game at 2-2. Dickey then retired Brian McCann on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Murphy.

Davis drew a walk against Jurrjens with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bay singled to left field and Atlanta reliever Livan Hernandez got Duda on a pop-up to third baseman Francisco. Thole singled to drive home Davis and reclaim the lead for the Mets. Hernandez retired Nieuwenhuis on a force play ground ball for the third out and Dickey pitched a scoreless top of the sixth. The Mets had runners on second and third base with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Hernandez then fanned Davis for the third out.

Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell set down the Braves in order in the top of the seventh inning. With one out in the bottom half, Duda connected against Atlanta’s Chad Durbin for his second homer and the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Thole grounded out to second baseman Dan Uggla and a single by Nieuwenhuis ensued. Justin Turner got a pinch-hit single and Durbin retired Tejada on an inning-ending pop-up to Pastornicky. For New York, reliever Jon Rauch retired all three Braves hitters in the top of the eighth. The Mets were then set down 1-2-3 by Atlanta’s Cristhian Martinez in the bottom half.

Freeman singled against Mets’ reliever Frank Francisco to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Heyward went down on strikes and Juan Francisco fouled out to left fielder Jason Bay. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske singled to send Freeman to second base. Frank Francisco then struck out pinch-hitter Matt Diaz to end the game. The Mets had their second straight victory to begin the season.