April 8, 2009: Mets Outlast Reds in Hitting Duel

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Date: April 8, 2009
Mets starter: Mike Pelfrey
Mets: 9
Reds: 7
Winning pitcher: Mike Pelfrey
Key player(s): Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Brian Schneider
Key play: Delgado’s homer and single, Beltran’s two-run single, Schneider’s double

The Mets faced the Reds on a Wednesday night in Cincinnati. The teams played the second of three games in a season-opening series. In a battle of hitting, the Mets came away with a 9-7 win.

David Wright drew a two-out walk against Reds’ starter Edison Volquez in the top of the first inning. Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran singled to center field. With Ryan Church at bat, Beltran got caught by catcher Ramon Hernandez’s throw and was tagged by second baseman Brandon Phillips for the inning’s third out. Jerry Hairston singled off the Mets’ Mike Pelfrey to begin the bottom half. Chris Dickerson walked and Joey Votto homered for a 3-2 Cincinnati lead. Phillips hit a double and advanced to third on Jay Bruce’s ground out to second baseman Luis Castillo. Edwin Encarnacion drew a walk and Hernandez’s force play ground ball to Castillo brought home Phillips with the Reds’ fourth run. On the play, Hernandez moved to second via an error by shortstop Jose Reyes. Pelfrey then issued an intentional walk to Alex Gonzalez and threw a called third strike past Volquez to end the inning.

Pelfrey and Volquez each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Reyes and Daniel Murphy got back-to-back singles against Volquez to begin the top of the fifth. Wright reached on shortstop Gonzalez’s error to load the bases and Delgado grounded out to first baseman Votto to drive home Reyes. Beltran hit a single that plated both Murphy and Wright, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead. Cincinnati reliever Nick Masset got Church to hit a grounder to Gonzalez for an inning-ending double play. Pelfrey then shut down the Reds in the bottom half.

Masset gave up just a single to Brian Schneider in the top of the sixth. Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and Wright doubled against Cincinnati’s Mike Lincoln with one out in the top of the seventh. Delgado hit a single to score Wright and moved to second base on a throw to the plate. Beltran was given an intentional walk and Church walked to load the bases. Schneider followed with a double to bring home Delgado, Beltran and Church for a 9-4 Mets lead. Castillo was retired on a grounder to Votto. Lincoln then got pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis to fly out to center fielder Dickerson and finish off the inning.

Votto hit a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano in the bottom of the seventh. Phillips followed with a single to send Votto to third base. Bruce hit a force play ground ball to Castillo to bring home Votto and a walk to Encarnacion ensued. Hernandez singled off New York’s Sean Green to score Bruce and cut the Mets’ lead to 9-6. Green then got Gonzalez on a force play grounder to Reyes for the inning’s final out.

Reds’ reliever Jared Burton surrendered just a walk to Murphy in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Willy Tavares tripled against the Mets’ J. J. Putz with one out in the bottom half. Dickerson followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Tavares with the seventh Cincinnati run of the game. Putz retired Votto on an inning-ending grounder to Castillo. For the Reds, reliever Arthur Rhodes pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Phillips drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Bruce popped out to Castillo and an error by first baseman Delgado allowed Encarnacion to reach base. Hernandez walked to load the bases and Gonzalez went down on strikes. Rodriguez then retired Laynce Nix on a fly ball to center fielder Beltran for the final out of the game. The Mets had their second straight victory to start the season.