May 23, 2007: Perez Leads Shutout of Braves

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Date: May 23, 2007
Mets starter: Oliver Perez
Mets: 3
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Oliver Perez
Key player(s): Oliver Perez, Carlos Gomez, David Wright
Key play: Prado’s error, Gomez’s sacrifice fly, Wright’s home run

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Oliver Perez and two relievers teamed up for a shutout in a 3-0 Mets win.

Perez and the Braves’ Chuck James each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Jose Reyes drew a walk with one out in the top of the third. Shawn Green followed with a single to center field. With Carlos Beltran at bat, Reyes and Green pulled off a double steal on which second baseman Martin Prado made an error. Reyes came home on the play to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Beltran went down on strikes and James retired David Wright on a fly ball to center fielder Andruw Jones to end the inning. The Braves then failed to score after loading the bases against Perez in the bottom half.

Paul Lo Duca singled to open the top of the fourth. Carlos Delgado hit a single and Damion Easley singled to load the bases. Carlos Gomez hit a sacrifice fly to score Lo Duca and increase the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Perez’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third before an intentional walk to Reyes loaded the bases. James got Green to hit a ground ball to first baseman Chris Woodward for the inning’s third out. Perez then struck out the side in order in the bottom half.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Wright homered against James for the Mets’ third run of the game. Lo Duca hit a double and went to third base on Delgado’s ground out to Woodward. Atlanta reliever Chad Paronto retired Easley on a fly ball to Jones to close out the inning and Perez surrendered only a walk to pinch-hitter Willie Harris in the bottom half. The Braves’ Peter Moylan set down the side on three consecutive infield grounders in the top of the sixth. Perez then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Moylan retired all three batters in the top of the seventh. Perez gave up only a single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the inning and the Mets failed to score after loading the bases against Atlanta reliever Oscar Villareal in the top of the eighth. New York’s Joe Smith pitched a perfect bottom half. The Braves’ Tyler Yates then set down the side in order in the top of the ninth.

Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner retired Matt Diaz on a fly ball to right fielder Endy Chavez to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Jones was called out on strikes and Saltalamacchia singled. Wagner then threw a called third strike past Woodward to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory.