May 4, 2007: Mets Pin Loss on Big Unit

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Date: May 4, 2007
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 5
Diamondbacks: 3
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): Julio Franco, Paul Lo Duca, Jose Reyes
Key play: Franco’s and Lo Duca’s home runs

The Mets faced the Diamondbacks on a Friday night in Phoenix. The teams played the second of four games in a weekend series. The Mets got nine hits in seven innings against Randy “Big Unit” Johnson in a 5-3 win over Arizona.

Jose Reyes singled to open the top of the first inning. With one out and Carlos Beltran at bat, Reyes stole second base. Beltran hit a single to drive home Reyes with the game’s first run. Johnson caught Beltran with a pickoff throw and struck out David Wright to end the inning. Mets’ starter John Maine then shut down the D’Backs in the bottom half.

A single by Paul Lo Duca began the top of the second inning. Julio Franco followed with a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Johnson set down the next three New York batters and Maine pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning. The Mets were retired in order by Johnson in the top of the third and Alberto Callaspo singled to lead off the bottom half. Callaspo moved to second base on Johnson’s sacrifice bunt and scored on an ensuing single by Chris Young. On his own hit, Young was out at second via a throw by center fielder Beltran to shortstop Reyes. Maine then got Conor Jackson on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Shawn Green.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Lo Duca homered for the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Franco went down on strikes and Green grounded out to first baseman Jackson to end the inning. Maine held the Snakes to a double by Stephen Drew in a scoreless bottom half. Endy Chavez singled to lead off the top of the fifth. A sacrifice bunt by Maine advanced Chavez to second base. Reyes hit a single to score Chavez and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-1. With Damion Easley at bat, Reyes was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Chris Snyder to second baseman Orlando Hudson. Johnson threw a called third strike past Easley to close out the inning. Maine then retired the Diamondbacks 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Johnson and Maine each hurled a scoreless sixth inning. Green got an infield single to begin the top of the seventh. Chavez’s sacrifice bunt moved Green to second base and pinch-hitter Ruben Gotay grounded out to shortstop Drew. Reyes singled for the Mets’ ninth hit off Johnson. Trying to score from second on the play, Green was out on right fielder Carlos Quentin’s throw to Snyder to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Ambiorix Burgos then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Arizona’s Edgar Gonzalez retired the Mets in order in the top of the eighth inning. Miguel Montero singled to lead off the bottom half. Young popped out to first baseman Franco and a fly ball by Jackson was caught by Beltran. Hudson hit a home run to cut the Mets’ lead to two runs. Burgos retired Eric Byrnes on an inning-ending pop-up to Franco. Julio drew a one-out walk against Gonzalez in the top of the ninth. Snakes’ reliever Doug Slaten retired Green on a fly ball to left fielder Byrnes. With Chavez at the plate, Franco stole second base. Slaten then got Chavez to ground out to Hudson and finish off the inning.

Drew drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Billy Wagner to start the bottom of the ninth. Quentin was called out on strikes. Wagner then got pinch-hitter Scott Hairston to hit a ground ball to Reyes for a double play that ended the game. The Mets had a victory over the D’Backs for the second day in a row.

Notes

At the age of 48 years and 254 days, Franco became the oldest player to record both a home run and a stolen base in a major league game.