July 24, 2007: Maine Homers in Win Over Pirates

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Date: July 24, 2007
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 8
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): John Maine, Shawn Green, Lastings Milledge
Key play: Green’s single, Maine’s home run, Milledge’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series with 49,122 fans on hand. John Maine recorded his 11th win of the season and hit his first major league home run in an 8-4 Mets victory over Pittsburgh.

In the top of the first inning, Adam LaRoche got a two-out single to right field. An ensuing double by Xavier Nady scored LaRoche with the first run of the game. Maine retired Ryan Doumit on a fly ball to center fielder Carlos Beltran for the third out. Jose Reyes doubled off Pirates’ starter Ian Snell to begin the bottom half. Ruben Gotay hit a double to bring home Reyes and moved to third base on a single by Beltran. A sacrifice fly by David Wright scored Gotay to put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Snell then threw a called third strike past Carlos Delgado and got Paul Lo Duca on an inning-ending ground out to shortstop Jack Wilson.

Maine and Snell each pitched scoreless ball in the second and third innings. Jason Bay homered with one out in the top of the fourth to tie the game. Maine retired Ronny Paulino and Wilson on consecutive fly balls to Beltran to close out the inning. Lo Duca got a one-out double in the bottom half. Shawn Green singled to bring home Lo Duca and regain the lead for the Mets. A wild pitch by Snell moved Green to second and Lastings Milledge’s single plated Shawn. Maine followed with a two-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Reyes grounded out to third baseman Matt Kata and a single by Gotay ensued. Snell then struck out Beltran to end the inning.

Maine and Bucs’ reliever Tony Armas, Jr. hurled scoreless fifth and sixth innings. John shut down Pittsburgh again in the top of the seventh. The Mets were retired in order by the Pirates’ John Grabow in the bottom half of the inning. Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Lo Duca singled off the Bucs’ Masumi Kuwata to begin the bottom half. Green flied out to left fielder Bay and a homer by Milledge gave the Mets their seventh and eighth runs. Kuwata then set down the next two batters on infield ground balls for the final outs of the inning.

Nady doubled off Mets’ reliever Guillermo Mota to start the top of the ninth. Doumit grounded out to second baseman Gotay to move Nady to third base. Bay hit his second homer of the game for two more Pittsburgh runs. Paulino was retired on a ground ball back to Mota. Guillermo then got Wilson on a grounder to Gotay for the game’s final out. The Mets had begun the series with a victory.