July 14, 2005: Piazza and Wright Slug Braves
|Date: July 14, 2005|
|Mets starter: Kris Benson|
|Winning pitcher: Roberto Hernandez|
|Key player(s): David Wright, Mike Piazza, Kris Benson|
|Key play: Wright's two homers and double play, Piazza's home run|
The Mets faced the Braves on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a four-game series immediately following the All-Star Break. Mike Piazza hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Mets a 6-3 win over Atlanta.
Kris Benson and the Braves' Horacio Ramirez each pitched a scoreless first inning. In the top of the second, Benson set down all three Atlanta batters. David Wright led off the bottom half with a home run for a 1-0 Mets lead. Ramirez retired the next three hitters and Benson hurled a perfect top of the third. Carlos Beltran singled with two outs in the bottom half. Ramirez then retired Cliff Floyd on a ground ball to second baseman Pete Orr to end the inning.
Benson fanned Rafael Furcal for his fifth strikeout of the game to open the top of the fourth. Orr singled and Kelly Johnson was called out on strikes. Orr stole second base and came around to score on a single by Andruw Jones. Benson got Johnny Estrada for his seventh strikeout to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Wright hit his second homer to reclaim a one-run lead for the Mets. Ramirez then retired Chris Woodward and Miguel Cairo on grounders to third baseman Wilson Betemit for the inning's final outs.
Benson and Ramirez each hurled scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. Estrada reached on an error by third baseman Wright with one out in the top of the seventh. An ensuing home run by Adam LaRoche put the Braves ahead, 3-2. Benson then got Ryan Langerhans and Betemit on infield grounders for the final two outs of the inning.
Wright drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the seventh. David moved to second base on Woodward's ground out to Orr and to third via an errant pickoff throw by Ramirez. Cairo hit a ground ball to shortstop Furcal for the second out of the inning. Pinch-hitter Jose Offerman singled to drive home Wright and tie the game. Ramirez then retired Jose Reyes on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Johnson.
The Braves had runners on first and third base with one out against Mets' reliever Roberto Hernandez in the top of the eighth. On Johnson's ensuing bunt, Wright turned an unassisted double play to close out the inning. Beltran got a one-out double against Atlanta's Jim Brower in the bottom half. Reliever John Foster issued a walk to Floyd. Piazza connected for a homer against the Braves' Blaine Boyer to give the Mets a three-run lead. Boyer then got Wright on a fly ball to Johnson and retired Woodward on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning.
Mets' reliever Braden Looper got Jones to fly out to center fielder Beltran to start the top of the ninth. Estrada followed up by grounding out to Wright. Looper then struck out LaRoche to end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the unofficial second half of the season.
- Piazza's home run was his 1,000th hit as a Met.