August 24, 2010: Beltran's and Castillo's Singles Beat Marlins

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Date: August 24, 2010
Mets starter: R. A. Dickey
Mets: 6
Marlins: 5
Winning pitcher: Hisanori Takahashi
Key player(s): Luis Castillo, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran
Key play: Beltran’s single in 8th, Castillo’s single in 9th

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Tuesday night at Citi Field. The teams began a three-game series in front of 27,136 fans on hand. Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo got clutch two-out singles in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to give the Mets a 6-5 win over Florida.

R. A. Dickey and Marlins’ starter Josh Johnson each pitched a scoreless first inning. Dickey shut down Florida in the top of the second and David Wright led off the bottom half with a triple to center field. Ike Davis drew a walk and Jeff Francoeur hit a sacrifice fly to score Wright with the first run of the game. Johnson struck out Josh Thole and got Ruben Tejada to hit into an inning-ending force play. In the top of the third, Hanley Ramirez hit a leadoff single and stole second base. Logan Morrison singled and Gaby Sanchez’s sacrifice fly brought home Ramirez. An ensuing sacrifice fly by Dan Uggla scored Morrison for a 2-1 Florida lead. Dickey then retired Mike Stanton on a line drive to second baseman Tejada to end the inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Angel Pagan got an infield single and stole second base. Beltran drew a walk and Wright reached on an error by third baseman Wes Helms. Pagan came around to score on the miscue to tie the game. Johnson threw a called third strike past Davis for the third out of the inning. Dickey and Johnson each hurled a scoreless fourth. R. A. then held the Marlins to a double by Sanchez in the top of the fifth.

Pagan singled and went to third base on center fielder Cameron Maybin’s error to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. Beltran followed with a single to bring home Pagan with the go-ahead run. Wright hit a single to send Beltran to third and Davis was called out on strikes. Francoeur hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to score Beltran for a 4-2 Mets lead. Thole hit a double and Tejada was walked intentionally to load the bases. Johnson got Dickey on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Uggla. Dickey pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Florida reliever Brian Sanches then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Brett Hayes and pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio started the top of the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Ramirez hit into a force play on which Hayes moved to third base. Morrison popped out to third baseman Wright and a three-run homer by Sanchez put the Fish ahead, 5-4. Dickey fanned Uggla for the third out of the inning. Marlins’ reliever Burke Badenhop then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell retired all three Florida batters in the top of the eighth inning. Against the Marlins’ Clay Hensley, Pagan doubled with two outs in the bottom half. Beltran hit a single that scored Pagan to tie the game and advanced to second base on right fielder Stanton’s throw to the plate. Hensley got Wright on a called third strike for the third out of the inning. The Fish were then shut down by Mets’ reliever Hisanori Takahashi in the top of the ninth.

Davis singled off Marlins’ reliever Will Ohman to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Francoeur flied out to Maybin and a single by Thole ensued. Ohman fanned pinch-hitter Mike Hessman for the second out. Castillo then hit a single to right field that plated Davis with the winning run. The Mets had an exciting victory to start the three-game series.