August 8, 2007: Alou's Homer in 8th Wins It

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Date: August 8, 2007
Mets starter: Orlando Hernandez
Mets: 4
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: Aaron Heilman
Key player(s): Luis Castillo, Moises Alou
Key play: Castillo’s two-run single, Alou’s home run

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second part of a three-game series in front of 51,749 fans on hand. Moises Alou hit a home run in the eighth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 win over Atlanta.

Mets’ starter Orlando Hernandez retired the Braves in order in the top of the first inning. Jose Reyes singled off Atlanta’s John Smoltz to begin the bottom half. An error by Smoltz on a pickoff attempt sent Reyes to second base. Jose moved to third on Luis Castillo’s sacrifice bunt. David Wright hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Reyes for a 1-0 Mets lead. Smoltz then retired Carlos Delgado on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Hernandez and Smoltz each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Orlando struck out the first two Braves hitters and issued a walk to Willie Harris. Kelly Johnson singled to right field and Chipper Jones followed with a two-run double. Teixeira hit a single that brought home Jones for the third Atlanta run. Brian McCann flied out to right fielder Shawn Green to end the inning. Smoltz then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Hernandez pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Green singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Paul Lo Duca flied out to right fielder Jeff Francoeur and a single by Lastings Milledge ensued. Braves’ reliever Ron Mahay walked pinch-hitter Damion Easley to load the bases. Reyes hit a fly ball to Francoeur for the second out. Castillo followed with a single that scored Green and Milledge to tie the game at 3-3. Atlanta’s Peter Moylan then got Wright on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman shut down the Braves in the top of the eighth. With one out in the bottom half, Alou homered off Atlanta reliever Rafael Soriano to put the Mets ahead. Green hit a single to center field and went to second on Lo Duca’s ground out to third baseman Jones. Soriano then retired Milledge on a line drive to Francoeur for the third out.

The Braves loaded the bases against Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner in the top of the ninth inning. Francoeur hit a ground ball on which third baseman Wright threw to catcher Lo Duca for a force out at home on Chipper Jones. Wagner then got Andruw Jones on a grounder to second baseman Castillo for a game-ending double play. The Mets had come away with a victory.