May 11, 2008: Extra-Base Hits Thump Reds

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Date: May 11, 2008
Mets starter: Oliver Perez
Mets: 8
Reds: 3
Winning pitcher: Oliver Perez
Key player(s): Luis Castillo, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church, Oliver Perez
Key play: Castillo’s triple, Beltran’s double and homer, Church’s home run

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets pounded out seven extra-base hits in an 8-3 win over Cincinnati.

Mets’ starter Oliver Perez surrendered only a walk to Ken Griffey, Jr. in the top of the first inning. Jose Reyes singled against the Reds’ Johnny Cueto to lead off the bottom half. Reyes stole second base and scored on a triple by Luis Castillo. David Wright was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Ryan Freel. Carlos Beltran hit a double to drive home Castillo and a line drive by Ryan Church was caught by first baseman Joey Votto. Moises Alou doubled to plate Beltran for a 3-0 Mets lead. Cueto then got Carlos Delgado to fly out to Freel and finish off the inning.

Perez and Cueto each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Oliver shut down the Reds again in the top of the fifth and Castillo hit a single to begin the bottom half. Wright went down on strikes and Beltran followed with a two-run homer. Church connected for a home run that increased the Mets’ lead to 6-0. Cueto retired Alou on a ground ball to shortstop Jeff Keppinger. Cincinnati reliever Bill Bray then struck out Delgado to end the inning.

Griffey drew a walk to open the top of the sixth. Brandon Phillips flied out to right fielder Church and a double by Edwin Encarnacion ensued. Adam Dunn hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Griffey and send Encarnacion to third base. Keppinger tripled to score Encarnacion and came home on a wild pitch to trim the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Perez then got Paul Bako on a line drive to center fielder Beltran for the inning’s third out.

Reyes hit a two-out double against Bray in the bottom of the sixth. Against Reds’ reliever Jared Burton, Damion Easley singled to bring home Reyes. Easley advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored the Mets’ eighth run on a single by Wright. Burton got Beltran to hit a force play grounder to third baseman Encarnacion to close out the inning and the Mets’ Scott Schoeneweis gave up just a single to Freel in the top of the seventh. Cincinnati’s Jeremy Affeldt then yielded only a single to Delgado in the bottom half.

Phillips hit a single against Schoeneweis with one out in the top of the eighth. Encarnacion singled to send Phillips to third base and Mets’ reliever Joe Smith struck out Keppinger to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson doubled (the Mets’ seventh extra-base hit) against Cincinnati’s David Weathers. Anderson went to third on Reyes’ infield single and Easley was called out on strikes. Reyes stole second and Wright was struck out. Weathers then retired Beltran on a ground ball to second baseman Phillips for the final out of the inning.

David Ross got a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano in the top of the ninth. Freel was retired on a grounder to second baseman Easley. Feliciano then got Votto to ground out to Easley and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a series-closing victory.