May 1, 2006: Mets Score in 9th for Win Over Nats

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Date: May 1, 2006
Mets starter: Victor Zambrano
Mets: 2
Nationals: 1
Winning pitcher: Billy Wagner
Key player(s): Victor Zambrano, Carlos Delgado
Key play: Delgado’s home run, Majewski’s error

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a two-game series. The Mets scored a run on the ninth inning for a 2-1 win over Washington.

Victor Zambrano and the Nats’ Ramon Ortiz each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Nick Johnson drew a walk to lead off the top of the fourth. Jose Guillen went down on strikes as Johnson stole second base. Brian Schneider followed with a single to score Johnson for a 1-0 Washington lead. Zambrano retired Royce Clayton on a fly ball to right fielder Xavier Nady for the third out of the inning. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases against Ortiz in the bottom half.

Zambrano shut down the Nationals in the top of the fifth. Ortiz hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and Zambrano set down the side in order in the top of the sixth. Carlos Delgado began the bottom half with a home run to tie the game at 1-1. David Wright flied out to left fielder Alfonso Soriano and a fly ball by Cliff Floyd was caught by center fielder Marlon Byrd. Nady singled and advanced to third base on a double by Kazuo Matsui. Ortiz then got pinch-hitter Jose Valentin to fly out to right fielder Guillen and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. Washington’s Jon Rauch and Mike Stanton combined for a perfect bottom half and New York’s Duaner Sanchez retired the side in order in the top of the eighth. Stanton hit Delgado with a pitch to begin the bottom of the inning. Wright flied out to Soriano and a fly ball by Floyd was caught by Guillen. Nats’ reliever Gary Majewski retired Nady on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Jose Vidro. For the Mets, reliever Billy Wagner set down all three batters in the top of the ninth.

Matsui went down on strikes to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Julio Franco drew a walk and a single by Jose Reyes advanced pinch-runner Endy Chavez to second base. On Paul Lo Duca’s ensuing grounder, Majewski made an errant throw that allowed Chavez to come home with the winning run. The Mets had a victory to start the series and the month of May.