July 6, 2014: Five-Run 1st Buries Rangers

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Date: July 6, 2014
Mets starter: Zack Wheeler
Mets: 8
Rangers: 4
Winning pitcher: Zack Wheeler
Key player(s): Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, Anthony Recker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Key play: Duda’s double, Lagares’s single, Recker’s and Nieuwenhuis's home runs

The Mets faced the Rangers on a Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored five runs in the first inning and rolled to an 8-4 win over Texas.

Mets’ starter Zack Wheeler pitched a scoreless top of the first. Curtis Granderson drew a walk against the Rangers’ Nick Tepesch to lead off the bottom half. Daniel Murphy and David Wright were retired on fly balls to center fielder Leonys Martin and a double by Lucas Duda brought home Granderson. Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked and advanced to third base on Juan Lagares’s single that scored Duda. Lagares stole second and Anthony Recker slugged a three-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Ruben Tejada drew a walk and Tepesch fanned Wheeler for the third out.

After scoreless second and third innings, Robinson Chirinos hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the fourth. Carlos Pena drew a walk and Rougned Odor grounded out to third baseman Wright to end the inning. Tepesch gave up only a double to Tejada in the bottom half and singled to open the top of the fifth. Shin-Soo Choo went down on strikes and Elvis Andrus followed with a force play ground ball to Wheeler. Zack retired Alex Rios on a grounder to Wright to close out the inning. Tepesch then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Wheeler pitched a perfect top of the sixth. To begin the bottom of the inning, Nieuwenhuis homered to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Tepesch retired the next three batters and Pena doubled against Wheeler to open the top of the seventh. Odor flied out to center fielder Lagares and single by pinch-hitter Michael Choice sent Pena to third base. Mets’ reliever Dana Eveland recorded a strikeout of Choo. New York’s Vic Black got Andrus on a line drive to Lagares to finish off the inning and Granderson drew a one-out walk against Texas reliever Jason Frasor in the bottom half. Murphy hit a double to bring home Granderson for a 7-1 Mets lead. Wright followed with a grounder on which second baseman Odor threw to third baseman Adrian Beltre for an out on Murphy. Frasor then retired Duda on a line drive to right fielder Rios for the final out of the inning.

Rios hit a home run against Mets’ reliever Gonzalez Germen to lead off the top of the eighth. Beltre singled and Martin homered to reduce the Mets’ lead to 7-4. Germen struck out Chirinos and New York’s Jeurys Familia got Pena on a ground ball to Wright. Odor doubled and Familia fanned pinch-hitter Chris Gimenez to end the inning. Nieuwenhuis walked against Rangers’ reliever Aaron Poreda to open the bottom half. With Lagares at bat against Texas’s Neftali Feliz, Nieuwenhuis stole second base. Lagares and Recker both flied out to Martin and a single by Tejada plated Nieuwenhuis with the Mets’ eighth run of the game. Feliz then got pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu to ground out to Odor and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jenrry Mejia retired Choo on a fly ball to Lagares to start the top of the ninth. Andrus grounded out to shortstop Tejada. Mejia then struck out Rios to end the game. The Mets had a victory to close out the interleague holiday weekend series.