July 11, 2010: Santana Leads Shutout of Braves

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Date: July 11, 2010
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 3
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Johan Santana
Key player(s): Johan Santana, Alex Cora, Ike Davis
Key play: Cora’s single, Davis’s home run

The Mets faced the Braves on a Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. The teams played the finale of a three-game series just prior to the All-Star Break. Johan Santana and two relievers teamed up for a shutout in a 3-0 Mets win over Atlanta.

Santana and the Braves’ Derek Lowe each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Melky Cabrera doubled to lead off the top of the third. On Lowe’s ensuing bunt, Cabrera was out via a throw by first baseman Ike Davis to third baseman David Wright. Martin Prado lined out to Davis and a single by Omar Infante ensued. Santana retired Chipper Jones on a pop-up to Davis that ended the inning and Angel Pagan hit a two-out triple in the bottom half. Alex Cora singled to drive home Pagan and advanced to second base on a single by Wright. Lowe then struck out Davis to finish off the inning.

The Braves failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the fourth. Jeff Francoeur hit a double to lead off the bottom half. Francoeur moved to third on Chris Carter’s ground out to second baseman Prado. On Rod Barajas’s ensuing grounder, Jeff was out at home via a throw by third baseman Jones to catcher Brian McCann. Barajas went to second on a balk and Ruben Tejada drew a walk. Lowe then fanned Santana for the inning’s final out.

Following a scoreless fifth, Santana yielded just a single to Matt Diaz in the top of the sixth. Leading off the bottom half, Davis homered to extend the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Francoeur popped out to Jones and a single by Carter ensued. Peter Moylan came in to pitch for Atlanta and retired Barajas on a fly ball to center fielder Cabrera. Tejada singled to send pinch-runner Jesus Feliciano to third base and stole second. Moylan then got Santana to ground out to first baseman Troy Glaus and end the inning.

Santana shut down the Braves once again in the top of the seventh. Atlanta reliever Kris Medlen hurled a scoreless bottom half and the Mets’ Bobby Parnell set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Feliciano singled against the Braves’ Takashi Saito to begin the bottom of the inning. Feliciano advanced to second base on Barajas’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Tejada’s ground out to Glaus. Pinch-hitter Josh Thole hit a single to score Feliciano with the Mets’ third run and moved to second on Pagan’s single to center field. Saito then retired Cora on a line drive to left fielder Diaz to close out the inning.

Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez got Diaz on a grounder to catcher Barajas to open the top of the ninth. Yunel Escobar flied out to right fielder Francoeur. Rodriguez then retired Cabrera on a fly ball to center fielder Pagan to end the game. The Mets had a victory to conclude the unofficial first half of the season.