July 8, 2009: Three-Run 3rd Lifts Mets Over Dodgers

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Date: July 8, 2009
Mets starter: Oliver Perez
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 4
Winning pitcher: Oliver Perez
Key player(s): Jeremy Reed, David Wright, Daniel Murphy
Key play: Wright’s and Reed’s singles in 3rd

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Wednesday night at Citi Field. The teams played in front of 40,027 fans on hand. Three runs in the third inning led to a 5-4 Mets win over Los Angeles.

Rafael Furcal drew a leadoff walk in the top of the first. Orlando Hudson hit a force play ground ball to third baseman David Wright and a fly ball by Manny Ramirez was caught by center fielder Jeremy Reed. Casey Blake walked and Mark Loretta singled to drive home Hudson for a 1-0 Dodgers lead. Mets’ starter Oliver Perez retired Russell Martin on a pop-up to first baseman Daniel Murphy for the third out. For Los Angeles, Hiroki Kuroda gave up only a double to Murphy in the bottom of the inning.

Perez yielded only a single to Matt Kemp in the top of the second. Reed doubled with one out in the bottom half. Jeremy advanced to third base on Brian Schneider’s ground out to first baseman Loretta and scored the tying run on a single by Luis Castillo. Kuroda got Perez to pop out to third baseman Blake and end the inning. The Dodgers then failed to score after loading the bases on three consecutive two-out walks in the top of the third.

Murphy hit his second double with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Wright singled to bring home Murphy and a walk to Gary Sheffield followed. Ryan Church reached on an error by Blake that allowed Wright to come home. Reed hit a single that scored Sheffield for the Mets’ third run of the inning and a 4-1 lead. Schneider was retired on a pop-up to shortstop Furcal. Kuroda then got Castillo to line out to left fielder Ramirez and finish off the inning.

To open the top of the fourth, Kemp singled and moved to second base on Kuroda’s sacrifice bunt. Furcal hit a single to drive home Kemp. Hudson grounded to Wright for an inning-ending double play and Kuroda set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Perez hurled a scoreless top of the fifth and Wright hit a single to begin the bottom of the inning. Sheffield popped out to Furcal and a single by Church sent Wright to third base. Reed drew a walk to load the bases and Kuroda was replaced on the mound by Dodgers’ reliever Cory Wade. Schneider greeted Wade with a single to plate Wright and extend the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Castillo hit a ground ball on which Loretta threw to catcher Martin for an out at home on Church. Wade then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Nick Evans to close out the inning.

Kemp drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell to lead off the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt went down on strikes and Furcal singled to advance Kemp to third base. Hudson was called out on strikes and Parnell retired Ramirez on a grounder to Wright that ended the inning. Los Angeles reliever Guillermo Mota pitched a perfect bottom half and Martin drew a two-out walk in the top of the seventh. Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch for the Mets and got Andre Ethier on a fly ball to Reed for the third out of the inning. Mota and the Dodgers’ Brent Leach then combined to retire the side in order in the bottom half.

Kemp hit a triple against Mets’ reliever Sean Green to begin the top of the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Juan Pierre flied out to right fielder Church. Furcal grounded out to second baseman Castillo to bring home Kemp and cut the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Hudson grounded back to Green for the inning’s final out. Los Angeles reliever Ramon Troncoso then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Leading off the top of the ninth inning, Ramirez homered against Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez. Blake drew a walk and Loretta was struck out. Martin followed with a single to left field. Rodriguez then got Ethier to hit a ground ball to shortstop Alex Cora for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory to stop a four-game losing streak.