May 24, 2008: Evans Hits Three Doubles in Debut

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Date: May 24, 2008
Mets starter: Claudio Vargas
Mets: 9
Rockies: 2
Winning pitcher: Claudio Vargas
Key player(s): Nick Evans, Claudio Vargas, Carlos Beltran
Key play: Beltran’s double, Evans’ three doubles

The Mets faced the Rockies on a Saturday afternoon in Denver. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Coors Field. In his major league debut, Nick Evans hit three doubles as the Mets defeated Colorado, 9-2.

Jose Reyes singled against Rockies’ starter Jeff Francis to lead off the top of the first inning. Luis Castillo drew a walk and combined with Reyes on a double steal. David Wright drew a walk to load the bases. Carlos Beltran followed with a double to score Reyes, Castillo and Wright. Fernando Tatis singled and Carlos Delgado went down on strikes. Ramon Castro hit a single to drive home Beltran. Evans doubled in his first at bat in the major leagues to plate Tatis, extending the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Claudio Vargas lined out to second baseman Jonathan Herrera. Francis then got Reyes on a ground ball to first baseman Todd Helton for the third out.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Matt Holliday homered against Vargas for the first Colorado run of the game. Vargas retired Helton on an inning-ending grounder first baseman Delgado. Wright hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the second. Beltran grounded out to shortstop Omar Quintanilla and a strikeout of Tatis finished off the inning. Vargas pitched a perfect bottom half and Francis gave up only a double to Evans in the top of the third. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Francis singled to left field. Scott Podsednik grounded out to Delgado and a single by Herrera drove home Francis. Vargas then got Holliday to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Reyes for the inning’s final out.

Vargas and Francis each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. Rockies’ reliever Alberto Arias hurled a scoreless top of the seventh and Vargas set down the side in order in the bottom half. Castro hit a double to begin the top of the eighth. Evans followed with his third double to bring home Castro. Pinch-hitter Endy Chavez was retired on a grounder to Herrera. Reyes grounded out to Helton and a double by Castillo brought home Evans for an 8-2 Mets lead. Arias struck out Wright to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Duaner Sanchez then retired the purple and black 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Delgado homered against Colorado’s Josh Newman for the Mets’ ninth run of the game. Castro hit a single and pinch-hitter Damion Easley reached on an error by Quintanilla. Newman retired Chavez on an inning-ending line drive to Helton. To open the bottom half, Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano got Holliday to ground out to third baseman Wright. Helton went down on strikes and Ian Stewart drew a walk. Feliciano then retired Seth Smith on a fly ball to left fielder Tatis for the game’s final out. The Mets had a solid victory to snap a five-game losing streak.