May 3, 2006: Delgado's Homer in 12th Beats Pirates

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Date: May 3, 2006
Mets starter: Pedro Martinez
Mets: 4
Pirates: 3
Winning pitcher: Chad Bradford
Key player(s): Pedro Martinez, Jose Reyes, Endy Chavez, Carlos Delgado
Key play: Chavez’s double, Reyes’ triple, Delgado’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a two-game series. Carlos Delgado homered in the bottom of the 12th inning for a 4-3 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Freddy Sanchez hit a home run against Mets’ starter Pedro Martinez with two outs in the top of the first. Martinez fanned Jason Bay for the third out and Kazuo Matsui doubled against the Pirates’ Ian Snell with one out in the bottom half. Carlos Beltran went down on strikes and Delgado hit a double to score Matsui with the tying run. Snell then struck out David Wright to finish off the inning.

Martinez and Snell each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Pedro shut down the Bucs in the top of the sixth and Cliff Floyd got a leadoff single against Snell in the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Ramon Castro advanced Floyd to second base. Endy Chavez doubled to drive home Floyd with the go-ahead run. Pinch-hitter Jose Valentin went down on strikes and Jose Reyes tripled to score Chavez for a 3-1 Mets lead. Matsui then grounded back to Pittsburgh reliever John Grabow for the inning’s third out.

Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman retired the side in order in the top of the seventh. Grabow hit Delgado with a pitch with one out in the bottom half. Delgado went to second base on Wright’s single and to third after Floyd’s fly out to center fielder Chris Duffy. Pirates’ reliever Matt Capps struck out Castro to end the inning and Heilman pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Pittsburgh’s Damaso Marte then gave up only a single to Chavez in the bottom half.

Jack Wilson drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner to open the top of the ninth. Freddy Sanchez grounded out to third baseman Wright and a walk to Bay ensued. Pinch-hitter Craig Wilson was struck out and Jose Hernandez singled to score Jack Wilson. A single by Ronny Paulino brought home Bay and tied the game at 3-3. Wagner got Jose Castillo on a force play ground ball to Wright that closed out the inning. Bucs’ reliever Salomon Torres then hurled a perfect bottom half to send the game onward.

Mets’ reliever Duaner Sanchez pitched a scoreless top of the 10th. The Pirates’ Roberto Hernandez did the same in the bottom of the inning and New York’s Chad Bradford yielded only a single to Craig Wilson in the top of the 11th. Bucs’ reliever Mike Gonzalez set down the side in order in the bottom half. Bradford then retired the Pirates on three straight ground balls in the top of the 12th.

Leading off the bottom of the 12th inning, Delgado came up to bat against Gonzalez. Carlos slugged a home run to bring the game to an end. The Mets had come away with a victory to start the two-game set.