August 19, 2004: Mets Rout Rockies in DH Opener

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Date: August 19, 2004
Mets starter: Kris Benson
Mets: 10
Rockies: 3
Winning pitcher: Kris Benson
Key player(s): Mike Cameron, Richard Hidalgo, Vance Wilson
Key play: Cameron’s and Hidalgo’s homers, Wilson’s two doubles

The Mets and Rockies faced each other in a Thursday doubleheader. The teams played a three-hour and 26-minute opener of the twinbill at Coors Field in Denver. The Mets scored in seven of the nine innings for a 10-3 win over Colorado.

Gerald Williams and Joe McEwing got back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the first inning. Todd Zeile hit a double play ground ball to second baseman Aaron Miles and a walk to Richard Hidalgo ensued. Mike Cameron followed with a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. David Wright singled and advanced to third base on a single by Vance Wilson. Danny Garcia drew a walk to load the bases. Rockies’ starter Shawn Estes then struck out Kris Benson to finish off the inning.

Royce Clayton got a one-out single against Mets’ starter Benson in the bottom of the first. Todd Helton flied out to left fielder Williams and a double by Vinny Castilla brought home Clayton. Jeromy Burnitz grounded out to first baseman Zeile to end the inning and Estes shut down the Mets in the top of the second. Benson then yielded only a single to Matt Holliday in a scoreless bottom half.

Wright singled to lead off the top of the third inning. Vance Wilson grounded out to Miles and a strikeout of Garcia ensued. Benson hit a single to score Wright and moved to second base on a single by Williams. Estes retired McEwing on an inning-ending pop-up to third baseman Castilla and the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half. Benson then got Preston Wilson on a ground ball to third baseman Wright for the inning’s final out.

Hidalgo homered for the Mets’ fifth run with one out in the top of the fourth. Estes set down the next two batters and Holliday was hit by a pitch to open the bottom half. Charles Johnson drew a walk and Estes popped up a bunt to catcher Vance Wilson. Miles flied out to center fielder Cameron and a single by Clayton drove home Holliday as Johnson advanced to third base. Johnson scored on a wild pitch and Helton was given an intentional walk. Benson then retired Castilla on a pop-up to Zeile that closed out the inning.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Garcia drew a walk and moved to second base on Benson’s sacrifice bunt. Williams tripled to score Garcia and a walk to McEwing followed. McEwing stole second and Estes struck out Zeile to end the inning. Benson pitched a perfect bottom half and Colorado reliever Allan Simpson issued a walk to Hidalgo to begin the top of the sixth. Cameron got an infield single and Wright went down on strikes. Vance Wilson hit a double to bring home Hidalgo and send Cameron to third base. Garcia grounded out to Miles to drive home Cameron and extend the Mets’ lead to 8-3. Simpson fanned Benson for the third out of the inning. Kris then held the Mountain Men to a double by Jorge Piedra in the bottom half.

Simpson and Mets’ reliever Mike Stanton each pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Cameron drew a walk to lead off the top of the eighth. Wright was struck out and Cameron stole second base. Vance Wilson doubled to score Cameron and a pop-up by Garcia was caught by first baseman Helton. Colorado’s Javier Lopez retired pinch-hitter Wilson Delgado on an inning-ending ground ball to Castilla. For the Mets, relievers Mike DeJean and Ricky Bottalico combined to shut down the Rockies in the bottom half.

Williams drew a walk to open the top of the ninth. McEwing hit a force play grounder to Miles and a strikeout of Zeile followed. Hidalgo was walked for the fourth time in the game and Cameron hit a double to drive home McEwing with the Mets’ tenth run. Lopez then got Wright to ground out to Castilla and end the inning.

Helton singled against Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano to start the bottom of the ninth. Castilla lined out to Cameron and a pop-up by Burnitz was caught by second baseman McEwing. Feliciano then retired pinch-hitter Kit Pellow on a fly ball to Williams to close out the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the doubleheader.