May 25, 2009: Sheffield's Homer Puts Away Nats

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Date: May 25, 2009
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 5
Nationals: 2
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): John Maine, Carlos Beltran, Gary Sheffield
Key play: Beltran’s single, Sheffield’s home run

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Monday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Gary Sheffield hit a three-run homer to lift the Mets to a 5-2 win over Washington.

Following a scoreless first, Willie Harris doubled against Mets’ starter John Maine with one out in the top of the second. Harris advanced to third base on Anderson Hernandez’s ground out to first baseman Fernando Tatis and came home on a single by Wil Nieves. John Lannan went down on strikes to end the inning and shut down the Mets in the bottom half. Maine hurled a scoreless top of the third and Angel Pagan drew a walk with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Pagan moved to third on Luis Castillo’s single and scored on a single by Carlos Beltran to tie the game at 1-1. Lannan then retired Sheffield on a fly ball to left fielder Adam Dunn for the final out of the inning.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Maine surrendered only a walk to Harris in the top of the sixth. Castillo hit a double against Lannan to begin the bottom half. Beltran drew a walk and Sheffield slugged a home run to put the Mets ahead, 4-1. Lannan walked David Wright and Washington reliever Jesus Colome struck out Tatis. Omir Santos hit a single to advance Wright to third base. Ramon Martinez followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Wright with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Colome then got pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy to pop out to second baseman Hernandez and end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Bobby Parnell issued a walk to Nieves to open the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell went down on strikes and Cristian Guzman singled to right field. Nick Johnson walked to load the bases and Ryan Zimmerman drew a walk to force home Nieves with the Nationals’ second run. Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch for New York and got Dunn to fly out to right fielder Pagan. Mets’ reliever J. J. Putz retired Austin Kearns on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Wright. The Mets loaded the bases with two outs against Washington’s Daniel Cabrera in the bottom half. Nats’ reliever Jason Bergmann then got Tatis to hit a force play grounder to shortstop Guzman and close out the inning.

Putz hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. Washington reliever Kip Wells set down the side in order in the bottom half and Johnson singled against the Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez to begin the top of the ninth. Zimmerman popped out to second baseman Castillo and a walk to Dunn followed. Rodriguez then struck out Kearns and retired Harris on a pop-up to Castillo that ended the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.