July 5, 2006: Five-Run 1st Buries Bucs

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Date: July 5, 2006
Mets starter: Orlando Hernandez
Mets: 5
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Orlando Hernandez
Key player(s): Orlando Hernandez, Paul Lo Duca, Jose Valentin
Key play: Lo Duca's single, Valentin's double

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the third of four games in a series. The Mets scored five runs in the first inning for a 5-0 win over Pittsburgh.

Mets' starter Orlando Hernandez pitched a scoreless top of the first. Jose Reyes hit a triple against the Bucs' Kip Wells to lead off the bottom half. Paul Lo Duca singled to drive home Reyes for a 1-0 Mets lead. Carlos Beltran drew a walk and Carlos Delgado went down on strikes. Cliff Floyd was hit by a pitch to load the bases and advanced to third base on Jose Valentin's double that scored Lo Duca and Beltran. Floyd came home on a wild pitch and Endy Chavez singled to plate Valentin with the fifth New York run. On a called third strike to Chris Woodward, Chavez was caught stealing second via a throw by catcher Ronny Paulino to shortstop Jack Wilson for an inning-ending double play.

Hernandez shut down the Pirates on three hits from the second inning to the sixth. Wells responded by keeping the Mets hitless in the bottom halves, surrendering only walks to Delgado and Beltran. Orlando yielded just a single to Paulino in the top of the seventh. Pittsburgh reliever John Grabow set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and New York's Chad Bradford gave up only a single to Sean Casey in the top of the eighth. Grabow then retired all three batters in the bottom half.

Mets' reliever Duaner Sanchez got Freddy Sanchez on a fly ball to right fielder Chavez to begin the top of the ninth. Jeromy Burnitz grounded out to Duaner Sanchez and consecutive singles by Jose Castillo and Paulino ensued. Duaner Sanchez then got pinch-hitter Joe Randa to hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Woodward for the game's final out. The Mets had a shutout victory.