August 21, 2007: Ninth-Inning Comeback Beats Padres

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Date: August 21, 2007
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 7
Padres: 6
Winning pitcher: Billy Wagner
Key player(s): Carlos Beltran, Marlon Anderson, Luis Castillo
Key play: Anderson’s and Castillo’s singles in 9th

The Mets faced the Padres on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series in front of 48,592 fans on hand. The Mets scored twice in the ninth inning to pull out a 7-6 win over San Diego.

Mets’ starter John Maine pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Luis Castillo drew a walk against the Padres’ Chris Young. Castillo advanced to second base on a wild pitch and David Wright was called out on strikes. Young committed a balk that moved Castillo to third and surrendered a home run to Carlos Beltran for a 2-0 Mets lead. Carlos Delgado then popped out to catcher Josh Bard to end the inning.

Following a scoreless second inning, Young singled to lead off the top of the third. Brian Giles drew a walk and Geoff Blum hit a force play grounder to shortstop Jose Reyes. Milton Bradley hit a single to drive home Young with the first San Diego run of the game. Adrian Gonzalez flied out to left fielder Moises Alou and a walk to Mike Cameron loaded the bases. Maine then got Khalil Greene to hit a ground ball to Reyes for a force play that ended the inning.

Maine hit a single to left field to open the bottom of the third. Reyes popped out to shortstop Greene and a walk to Castillo ensued. Wright was retired on a pop-up to first baseman Gonzalez. Beltran followed with a double to drive home Maine and Castillo. Young then got Delgado on a pop-up to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff for the final out of the inning.

Maine and Young each pitched scoreless ball in the fourth and fifth innings. Cameron homered to begin the top of the sixth. Maine retired the next two Padres hitters and gave up a double to Bard. Pinch-hitter Marcus Giles tripled to drive home Bard and reduce the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Scott Schoeneweis came in to pitch for New York and threw a called third strike past Brian Giles for the third out of the inning. San Diego relievers Justin Hampson and Cla Meredith then combined for a scoreless bottom half.

With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Gonzalez singled and advanced to second base on an error by right fielder Lastings Milledge. Schoeneweis was replaced on the mound by Jorge Sosa, who yielded a double to Cameron that scored Gonzalez and tied the game. Greene singled to plate Cameron and put the Padres ahead, 5-4. Sosa fanned Kouzmanoff to end the inning. Meredith then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Bard doubled against Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman to begin the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Terrmel Sledge singled to advance Bard to third base and Brian Giles lined out to first baseman Delgado. With Blum at bat, Sledge was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Mike DiFelice to Reyes. Heilman then got Blum to ground out to Delgado and finish off the inning.

Facing San Diego reliever Heath Bell, Reyes led off the bottom of the eighth with an infield single. Reyes stole second base and moved to third on Castillo’s ground out to Kouzmanoff. Wright drew a walk and Beltran drove in his fifth run of the game with a single that scored Reyes for a 5-5 tie. Bell then struck out Delgado and retired Alou on an inning-ending ground ball to Greene.

Bradley hit a single against Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner to start the top of the ninth inning. Gonzalez went down on strikes and Cameron drew a walk. Greene was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kouzmanoff hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Bradley and give the Padres a 6-5 lead. Wagner then struck out Bard to end the inning.

Milledge singled against San Diego’s Trevor Hoffman to lead off the bottom of the ninth. A sacrifice bunt by DiFelice advanced Milledge to second base. Marlon Anderson followed with a pinch-hit single to score Milledge with the tying run. Reyes singled to move Anderson to second. Castillo then hit a single that brought home Anderson and ended the game. The Mets had an exciting comeback victory.