July 12, 2009: Mets Hold Off Reds Comeback

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Date: July 12, 2009
Mets starter: Mike Pelfrey
Mets: 9
Reds: 7
Winning pitcher: Mike Pelfrey
Key player(s): Gary Sheffield, Brian Schneider, Fernando Tatis
Key play: Sheffield’s two singles, Schneider’s home run, Tatis’s home run

The Mets and Reds faced each other on a Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. The teams played the finale of a three-game series prior to the All-Star Break. A Cincinnati comeback effort fell short as the Mets held on for a 9-7 win.

Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Luis Castillo singled with one out in the bottom half. An ensuing double by David Wright scored Castillo with the first run of the game. Reds’ starter Aaron Harang retired the next two Mets batters to finish the inning. Neither team scored in the second. Pelfrey then set down all three Cincinnati hitters in the top of the third.

With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Castillo singled to center field. Wright hit a single to move Castillo to third base and advanced to second on Harang’s wild pitch. Sheffield singled to drive home Castillo and Wright for a 3-0 Mets lead. On the hit, Gary advanced to second on a throw. Jeff Francoeur flied out to right fielder Chris Dickerson to send Sheffield to third. A double by Daniel Murphy scored Sheffield and a walk to Brian Schneider followed. Alex Cora singled to bring home Murphy for the Mets’ fifth run. Harang then retired Pelfrey on an inning-ending force play grounder to shortstop Jerry Hairston.

Pelfrey set down the Reds in order in the top of the fourth. Castillo got a one-out single off Cincinnati reliever Josh Roenicke in the bottom of the inning. Castillo stole second base and Wright struck out. Sheffield hit a single to center field that drove home Castillo. Francoeur singled and Murphy hit a single to bring home Sheffield, stretching the Mets’ lead to 7-0. Reds’ reliever Danny Herrera then retired Schneider on a ground ball to second baseman Brandon Phillips to end the inning.

Pelfrey walked Ramon Hernandez and Edwin Encarnacion to begin the top of the fifth. Hairston flied out to right fielder Francoeur and a double by Adam Rosales scored Hernandez. An infield single by Dickerson brought home Encarnacion. Willy Taveras singled to plate Rosales with the third Cincinnati run. After a double steal, Pelfrey struck out pinch-hitter Micah Owings. Phillips hit a grounder to shortstop Cora for the third out. Reds’ reliever Robert Manuel then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

Following a scoreless sixth, Pelfrey retired Cincinnati 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Schneider homered off reliever David Weathers to start the bottom half. Cora grounded out to third baseman Encarnacion and a pinch-hit homer by Fernando Tatis extended the Mets’ lead to 9-3. Weathers threw a called third strike past Angel Pagan and issued a walk to Castillo. Wright then hit into an inning-ending force play.

Taveras singled off Mets’ reliever Sean Green to open the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes hit a single and Phillips singled to drive home Taveras. Laynce Nix got an infield single off reliever Pedro Feliciano to load the bases. Facing the Mets’ Bobby Parnell, Hernandez singled to score Gomes. Encarnacion was called out on strikes and Hairston’s force play grounder plated Phillips to reduce the Mets’ lead to 9-6. Parnell got Rosales on a grounder to Cora for an inning-ending force play. Reds’ reliever Nick Masset then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez walked Paul Janish to begin the top of the ninth inning. Taveras popped out to first baseman Murphy and a single by Ryan Hanigan moved Janish to third base. Phillips hit into a force play on which Janish scored the Reds’ seventh run. With the tying run at the plate, Rodriguez struck out Nix to end the game. The Mets had come away with a victory to close out the unofficial first half of the season.