May 22, 2009: Three-Run 4th Leads Mets Past Bosox

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Date: May 22, 2009
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 5
Red Sox: 3
Winning pitcher: Johan Santana
Key player(s): Gary Sheffield, David Wright, Omir Santos, Ramon Martinez
Key play: Sheffield’s home run, Mets’ singles in 4th

The Mets faced the Red Sox on a Friday night in Boston. The teams played the opener of a three-game interleague series. The Mets scored three runs in the fourth inning in a 5-3 win.

Following a scoreless first, Gary Sheffield homered against Red Sox’ starter Daisuke Matsuzaka to lead off the top of the second. Matsuzaka retired the next three Mets batters on outfield fly balls to end the inning and New York’s Johan Santana got J. D. Drew on a pop-up to second baseman Luis Castillo to open the bottom half. Mike Lowell grounded out to shortstop Ramon Martinez and a home run by Jason Varitek tied the game at 1-1. Santana threw a called third strike past Julio Lugo for the inning’s third out and Matsuzaka pitched a perfect top of the third. Santana then yielded only a double to Dustin Pedroia in the bottom half.

Carlos Beltran hit a ground-rule double with one out in the top of the fourth. Sheffield drew a walk and David Wright singled to drive home Beltran. Jeremy Reed followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Pedroia on which Sheffield advanced to third base. Consecutive singles by Omir Santos and Martinez brought home Sheffield and Reed, respectively, for a 4-1 Mets lead. Matsuzaka then got Castillo on a force play grounder to Pedroia that ended the inning.

Jason Bay drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fourth. Drew hit a force play ground ball to Castillo and moved to third base on a double by Lowell. Jason Varitek reached on Martinez’s error to drive home Drew. On the play, Lowell came around to score and cut the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Lugo was retired on a foul pop-up to third baseman Wright. Santana then got Jacoby Ellsbury to fly out to center fielder Reed and finish off the inning.

Matsuzaka hurled a scoreless top of the fifth. Santana shut down the Sox in the bottom half and Boston reliever Justin Masterson gave up only a walk to Wright in the top of the sixth. Drew hit a single to begin the bottom of the inning. Lowell popped out to Castillo and a single by Varitek followed. On Varitek’s hit, Martinez made an error that advanced the runners on second and third base. Santana then got Lugo on a pop-up to Castillo and retired Ellsbury on a grounder to Martinez for the final out of the inning.

Castillo got a bunt single to open the top of the seventh. Luis moved to second base on Daniel Murphy’s sacrifice bunt and scored the Mets’ fifth run on a single by Angel Pagan. Beltran was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Ellsbury. With Sheffield at bat, Pagan stole second. Masterson got Sheffield to line out to left fielder Bay and end the inning. Santana then set down the Sox in order in the bottom half.

Masterson held the Mets to a single by Reed in the top of the eighth. New York reliever Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Boston’s Daniel Bard retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. Mets’ reliever Francisco Rodriguez got Varitek on a fly ball to Reed to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Lugo flied out to left fielder Sheffield. Rodriguez then retired Ellsbury on a fly ball to Sheffield for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.