June 5, 2006: Soler's First Major League Win

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Date: June 5, 2006
Mets starter: Alay Soler
Mets: 4
Dodgers: 1
Winning pitcher: Alay Soler
Key player(s): Alay Soler, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado
Key play: Reyes’ and Delgado’s home runs

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Monday night in Los Angeles. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Alay Soler recorded his first major league win in a 4-1 Mets victory.

Leading off the top of the first inning, Jose Reyes homered against Dodgers’ starter Brett Tomko. Paul Lo Duca flied out to center fielder Kenny Lofton and a single by Carlos Beltran followed. Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. David Wright was retired on a ground ball to second baseman Ramon Martinez. Cliff Floyd was hit by a pitch and Tomko got Jose Valentin on a fly ball to Lofton for the third out. Soler then yielded only a single to Nomar Garciaparra in the bottom half.

Soler and Tomko each pitched three-hit scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Floyd singled against Tomko to begin the top of the sixth. Valentin hit a single and Lastings Milledge singled to drive home Floyd for a 4-0 Mets lead. Soler’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Los Angeles reliever Hong-Chih Kuo threw a called third strike past Reyes and retired Lo Duca on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Andre Ethier. With two outs in the bottom half, Willy Aybar slugged a homer for the Dodgers’ first run. Soler then got Ethier to fly out to center fielder Beltran and finish off the inning.

Kuo held the Mets to a single by Beltran in the top of the seventh. Soler hurled a scoreless bottom half and Dodgers’ reliever Danys Baez set down the side on three straight infield grounders in the top of the eighth. Lofton singled against the Mets’ Pedro Feliciano to lead off the bottom of the inning. Garciaparra was struck out and J. D. Drew hit a single to center field. Feliciano got Aybar to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Reyes. New York’s Chad Bradford then retired pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz on a grounder to third baseman Wright for the inning’s third out.

Los Angeles reliever Takashi Saito pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Martinez grounded out to Reyes to begin the bottom half. Russell Martin went down on strikes. Bradford then got Matt Kemp to fly out to right fielder Milledge and end the game. The Mets had a victory as Soler chalked up his first win in the major leagues.