July 5, 2007: Thirteen Hits Bury Astros

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Date: July 5, 2007
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 6
Astros: 2
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): John Maine, Ricky Ledee, Ramon Castro, Carlos Delgado
Key play: Ledee’s RBI singles, Castro’s double

The Mets faced the Astros on a Thursday night in Houston. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. The Mets collected thirteen hits in a 6-2 win.

Jose Reyes tripled against Astros’ starter Jason Jennings to lead off the top of the first inning. Ricky Ledee hit a single to score Reyes with the first run of the game. Carlos Beltran went down on strikes. Ledee moved to second base on David Wright’s ground out to first baseman Lance Berkman and came home on a single by Carlos Delgado for a 2-0 Mets lead. Jennings retired Jose Valentin on a grounder to second baseman Craig Biggio for the third out. Mets’ starter John Maine then struck out the side in order in the bottom half.

Shawn Green hit a double to open the top of the second. Green advanced to third base on Ramon Castro’s ground out to shortstop Mark Loretta and a strikeout of Maine followed. Reyes drew a walk and stole second. Ledee walked to load the bases and Jennings fanned Beltran to close out the inning. Loretta got a one-out single in the bottom half. Maine then struck out both Mike Lamb and Luke Scott to finish off the inning.

Delgado hit a double with one out in the top of the third. Valentin drew a walk and Green flied out to left fielder Carlos Lee. Castro doubled to drive home Delgado and Valentin, increasing the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Maine grounded out to Loretta to end the inning and gave up just a walk to Eric Munson in the bottom half. Jennings pitched a perfect top of the fourth and Lee singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Maine then got both Loretta and Lamb on fly balls to left fielder Ledee for the inning’s final outs.

Jennings yielded only a single to Delgado in the top of the fifth. Maine set down the Astros on three straight infield ground balls in the bottom half and Castro singled to open the top of the sixth. A sacrifice bunt by Maine sent Castro to second base and Reyes popped out to Loretta. Ledee hit a single to bring home Castro for a 5-0 Mets lead. Ricky stole second and Jennings retired Beltran on an inning-ending grounder to Biggio. Consecutive singles by Biggio and Hunter Pence began the bottom half. Maine followed up with strikeouts of Berkman and Lee. John then retired Loretta on a pop-up to second baseman Valentin to close out the inning.

Houston reliever Matt Albers hurled a scoreless top of the seventh. Maine surrendered just a walk to Scott in the bottom half and Green singled against the Astros’ Dave Borkowski to lead off the top of the eighth. Castro singled and a bunt by Maine was caught by Berkman, who threw to Loretta for an out on Green and a double play. Reyes grounded out to Berkman to end the inning and Biggio doubled against Maine to lead off the bottom half. Pence grounded out to shortstop Reyes and a fly ball by Berkman was caught by Ledee. Lee hit a double to score Biggio and came home on Loretta’s single against Mets’ reliever Joe Smith. New York’s Pedro Feliciano then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Morgan Ensberg for the inning’s final out.

Beltran homered for the Mets’ sixth run with one out in the top of the ninth. Wright went down on strikes and Delgado singled for the thirteenth New York hit. Borkowski fanned Valentin to close out the inning and Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner struck out pinch-hitter Chris Burke to open the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Brad Ausmus grounded out to Valentin and a walk to pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett ensued. With Biggio at bat, Bruntlett advanced to second base on defensive indifference. Wagner then fanned Biggio to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the series.