July 8, 2006: Mets Trounce Marlins for DH Split

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Date: July 8, 2006
Mets starter: Mike Pelfrey
Mets: 17
Marlins: 3
Winning pitcher: Mike Pelfrey
Key player(s): Jose Valentin, Cliff Floyd
Key play: Valentin’s grand slam & three-run triple

The Mets and Marlins played a doubleheader on a Saturday at Shea Stadium. After losing the first game, the Mets aimed for a split of the twinbill. Jose Valentin and Cliff Floyd combined for twelve runs batted in as the Mets walloped Florida, 17-3.

Making his major league debut, Mets’ starter Mike Pelfrey shut down the Fish in the top of the first inning. Endy Chavez began the bottom half with a triple off Florida starter Ricky Nolasco. A single by Paul Lo Duca scored Chavez with the first run of the game. Carlos Beltran drew a walk and David Wright struck out. Floyd singled to load the bases. Valentin followed with a grand slam for a 5-0 Mets lead. Nolasco then retired Julio Franco and Chris Woodward for the last two outs of the inning.

For the Marlins, Mike Jacobs opened the top of the second with a single to center field. Pelfrey struck out Joe Borchard and walked Jeremy Hermida. Matt Treanor got a single on which third baseman Wright made an error that allowed Jacobs to score. Nolasco’s sacrifice bunt brought home Hermida from third base for the second Florida run. Pelfrey then retired Alfredo Amezaga on a ground ball to shortstop Woodward to end the inning.

Lo Duca was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the second. Beltran singled and Wright walked to load the bases. Nolasco issued a base on balls to Floyd that forced home Lo Duca. An ensuing triple by Valentin scored three runs for a 9-2 Mets lead. Marlins’ reliever Jason Vargas then struck out Franco to close out the inning.

In the top of the third, Dan Uggla hit a one-out double and Miguel Cabrera followed with a walk. Pelfrey threw a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third. Jacobs grounded out to Woodward to drive home Uggla. Consecutive walks to Borchard and Hermida loaded the bases. Pelfrey retired Treanor on a pop-up to Woodward for the third out. Vargas then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

Pelfrey pitched a scoreless top of the fourth. In the bottom half, Beltran walked and Wright popped out to first baseman Jacobs. Floyd homered for two more Mets runs. Valentin and Franco were retired for the final two outs. Pelfrey then set down all three Florida batters on outfield flies in the top of the fifth.

The Mets loaded the bases on three singles to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. Lo Duca added a single to score Woodward and Xavier Nady. Beltran popped out to shortstop Hanley Ramirez and a double by Wright brought home Chavez. Floyd hit a double to plate Lo Duca and Wright, increasing the Mets’ lead to 16-3. Vargas then struck out Valentin and got Franco on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Wes Helms.

Mets’ reliever Henry Owens shut down the Marlins in the top of the sixth. The Mets were retired in order by Vargas in the bottom half. Owens pitched a perfect top of the seventh and Lo Duca led off the bottom of the inning with a fly out to center fielder Reggie Abercrombie. Beltran homered for the Mets’ seventeenth run. Vargas then retired the next two batters for the final outs.

Pedro Feliciano pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the top of the eighth. The Mets did not score against Vargas in the bottom half. In the top of the ninth, reliever Aaron Heilman retired the Marlins 1-2-3 to end the game. The Mets had a lopsided victory to gain a split of the doubleheader.