April 9, 2010: Francoeur and Barajas Double-Slug Nats

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Date: April 9, 2010
Mets starter: Mike Pelfrey
Mets: 8
Nationals: 2
Winning pitcher: Mike Pelfrey
Key player(s): Rod Barajas, Jeff Francoeur
Key play: Barajas’s and Francoeur’s home runs

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Friday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Rod Barajas and Jeff Francoeur homered twice each in an 8-2 Mets win over Washington.

After a scoreless first inning, Adam Dunn drew a walk to lead off the top of the second. Josh Willingham went down on strikes and Adam Kennedy lined out to right fielder Francoeur. Ivan Rodriguez followed with a single to left field. Ian Desmond hit a triple to drive home Dunn and Rodriguez for a 2-0 Nats lead. Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey then retired Garrett Mock on a ground ball to shortstop Ruben Tejada to close out the inning.

Francoeur slugged a home run against Washington starter Mock to lead off the bottom of the second. Mock set down the next two batters and Pelfrey got an infield single. Angel Pagan popped out to second baseman Kennedy to end the inning and Willie Harris drew a walk with one out in the top of the third. Ryan Zimmerman was struck out and Dunn drew a walk. Willingham was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Pagan and a walk to Alex Cora opened the bottom half. David Wright and Jason Bay both went down on strikes and Mike Jacobs drew a walk. Mock then got Francoeur on a force play ground ball to shortstop Desmond that finished off the inning.

Pelfrey pitched a scoreless top of the fourth. To begin the bottom half, Barajas hit a home run to tie the game at 2-2. Mock issued a walk to Tejada and recorded a strikeout of Pelfrey on a fouled two-strike bunt. Pagan drew a walk and Nationals’ reliever Miguel Batista got Cora to hit a grounder to Kennedy for an inning-ending double play. Pelfrey retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. Batista then surrendered just a walk to Jason Bay in the bottom half.

Pelfrey gave up only a double to Willingham in the top of the sixth. To open the bottom of the inning, Barajas hit his second home run of the game to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Batista set down the next three batters on outfield fly balls to end the inning and New York reliever Hisanori Takahashi hurled a perfect top of the seventh. Wright hit a one-out double against Washington’s Jason Bergmann in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis singled off the Nats’ Jesse English to bring home Wright. Against Nationals’ reliever Tyler Walker, Francoeur followed with a two-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Walker then retired Barajas on a foul pop-up to first baseman Dunn to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Fernando Nieve pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Tejada singled for his first major league hit to lead off the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto flied out to center fielder Nyger Morgan and a single by Pagan ensued. Cora and Wright hit singles to plate Tejada and Pagan, respectively, with the Mets’ seventh and eighth runs of the game. Walker then fanned both Bay and Tatis for the inning’s final outs.

Mets’ reliever Jenrry Mejia retired Rodriguez on a ground ball to Tejada to begin the top of the ninth. Desmond grounded out to third baseman Wright. Mejia then got pinch-hitter Willy Tavares to hit a grounder to Tejada for the final out of the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.