July 3, 2012: Mets Show Fireworks to Phils

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Date: July 3, 2012
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 11
Phillies: 1
Winning pitcher: Jonathon Niese
Key player(s): Jonathon Niese, Daniel Murphy, David Wright
Key play: Niese’s single, Wright’s home run, Murphy’s four hits

The Mets and Phillies began a three-game series on a Tuesday night at Citi Field. The teams played in front of a crowd of 42,516 fans on hand. With a fireworks show forthcoming after the game, the Mets provided an explosion of their own in an 11-1 win over Philadelphia.

Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese pitched a perfect top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Daniel Murphy hit a one-out triple against the Phils’ Vance Worley. David Wright grounded out to third baseman Placido Polanco to bring home Murphy with the game’s first run. Worley got Ike Davis on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Ty Wigginton and a home run by Carlos Ruiz opened the top of the second. Niese retired the next two Philadelphia batters and gave up a single to Wigginton. Jonathon then struck out John Mayberry to end the inning.

Worley issued a walk to Lucas Duda to begin the bottom of the second. Scott Hairston went down on strikes and back-to-back singles by Andres Torres and Josh Thole loaded the bases. Niese singled to score Duda and Torres for a 3-1 Mets lead. On the play, Thole was out at third via a throw by center fielder Shane Victorino to Polanco. Ruben Tejada hit a single and Murphy doubled to plate Niese with the Mets’ fourth run. Trying to score on the hit, Tejada was caught by shortstop Jimmie Rollins’ relay throw to catcher Ruiz for the final out of the inning.

Following a scoreless third, Niese set down the Phillies in order in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Thole singled to center field and advanced to second base on Niese’s sacrifice bunt. Tejada singled to drive home Thole and moved to second on Victorino’s throw. Murphy hit a single that scored Tejada to increase the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Worley retired Wright on a fly ball to left fielder Mayberry to close out the inning and Niese hurled a scoreless top of the fifth. Phils’ reliever Raul Valdes then held the Mets to a single by Hairston in the bottom half.

After shutting down the Phillies in the top of the sixth, Niese drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the inning. Tejada singled and Murphy was retired on a shallow fly ball to Mayberry. Brian Sanches came in to pitch for the Phils and yielded a three-run homer to Wright for a 9-1 Mets lead. Sanches fanned Davis for the inning’s third out and Hunter Pence singled to open the top of the seventh. Pence went to second base on a wild pitch and Victorino lined out to third baseman Wright. Niese threw a called third strike past Wigginton and got Mayberry on an inning-ending ground ball to Wright. Sanches then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Niese retired the side in order in the top of the eighth. Thole singled against Philadelphia reliever Jake Diekman to lead off the bottom of the inning. On pinch-hitter Justin Turner’s ensuing grounder, Polanco made a throw that pulled second baseman Chase Utley off the base for an error. Tejada flied out to right fielder Pence and a double by Murphy drove home Thole and Turner. Diekman then struck out Wright and Davis to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jon Rauch retired Utley on a fly ball to right fielder Duda to start the top of the ninth. Ruiz went down on strikes and Pence was hit by a pitch. Victorino then grounded back to Rauch for the final out of the game. The Mets had a solid victory with a hitting attack comparable to a display of holiday fireworks.