August 1, 2009: Pagan's Grand Slam Bites Snakes

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Date: August 1, 2009
Mets starter: Oliver Perez
Mets: 9
Diamondbacks: 6
Winning pitcher: Pedro Feliciano
Key player(s): Angel Pagan, Pedro Feliciano, Alex Cora
Key play: Mets’ four-run 4th, Pagan’s grand slam in 8th

The Mets faced the Diamondbacks on a Saturday night at Citi Field. The teams played in front of 39,574 fans on hand. Angel Pagan hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to break a tie and give the Mets an eventual 9-6 win over Arizona.

Mets’ starter Oliver Perez struck out the first two hitters in the top of the first inning. Justin Upton followed with a home run for a 1-0 D’Backs lead. Perez fanned Mark Reynolds to end the inning and the Mets were shut down by Arizona’s Max Scherzer in the bottom half. Each team had two runners on base, but failed to score in the second inning. To start the top of the third, three consecutive Arizona singles loaded the bases. Perez struck out Reynolds and got Chris Snyder on a ground ball to shortstop Alex Cora for an inning-ending double play. Scherzer then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Chris Young drew a walk to open the top of the fourth inning. Young moved to second base on a wild pitch and to third on Chad Tracy’s ground out to first baseman Daniel Murphy. Augie Ojeda singled to score Young with the Diamondbacks’ second run of the game. Scherzer’s sacrifice bunt advanced Ojeda to second. Perez then retired Ryan Roberts on a fly ball to right fielder Jeff Francoeur to close out the inning.

Murphy and Francoeur got back-to-back singles to begin the bottom of the fourth. Cory Sullivan singled to drive home Murphy and advanced to second base on a throw. Cora grounded out to second baseman Roberts to score Francoeur from third and tie the game. A double by Brian Schneider brought home Sullivan and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Perez singled to right field and a wild pitch put Mets runners at second and third base. Pagan hit a sacrifice fly to score Schneider with the fourth New York run. Scherzer then struck out Luis Castillo to end the inning.

Gerardo Parra singled to lead off the top of the fifth. Upton flied out to center fielder Pagan and a walk to Reynolds ensued. A double steal put Arizona runners at second and third base and Snyder went down on strikes. On the fourth ball to Young, Parra came home on catcher Schneider’s passed ball to cut the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Perez then got Tracy to pop out to Cora and finish off the inning.

David Wright singled against Diamondbacks’ reliever Blaine Boyer to open the bottom of the fifth. Wright stole second base on a third strike to Murphy and moved to third on Boyer’s errant pickoff throw. Francoeur grounded out to shortstop Ojeda to drive home Wright with the Mets’ fifth run. Sullivan grounded out to Roberts to end the inning and Ojeda drew a walk against the Mets’ Bobby Parnell to start the top of the sixth. Alex Romero fouled out to third baseman Wright and a ground rule double by Roberts ensued. Parra grounded out to Cora to drive home Ojeda from third base. Upton hit a single to score Roberts and tie the game at 5-5. Parnell fanned Reynolds for the third out of the inning. The Mets had runners at second and third base with two outs in the bottom half. Boyer then retired Castillo on a ground ball to Ojeda to end the inning.

Mets’ relievers Tim Redding and Pedro Feliciano combined for a perfect top of the seventh. Arizona’s Juan Gutierrez set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning. Feliciano retired the D’Backs 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth and Cora drew a walk against Snakes’ reliever Clay Zavada with one out in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Omir Santos singled to right field. A pinch-hit single by Angel Berroa loaded the bases. Pagan followed with a grand slam to give the Mets a four-run lead. Castillo lined out to center fielder Parra. Zavada then retired Wright on an inning-ending grounder to Ojeda.

For New York, reliever Brian Stokes struck out Parra to start the top of the ninth. Upton lined out to Cora and a homer by Reynolds gave Arizona its sixth run. Stokes issued a walk to Snyder and was replaced on the mound by reliever Francisco Rodriguez. With a count of 2-0 on Miguel Montero, Rodriguez got the Snakes’ pinch-hitter to pop out to second baseman Castillo and end the game. The Mets had their 50th victory of the season.