May 6, 2006: Four-Run 7th Lifts Mets Over Braves

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Date: May 6, 2006
Mets starter: Victor Zambrano
Mets: 6
Braves: 5
Winning pitcher: Bartolome Fortunato
Key player(s): Jose Reyes, Kazuo Matsui
Key play: Reyes’ run-scoring single, Matsui’s double

The Mets faced the Braves on a Saturday at Shea Stadium. After winning a 14-inning encounter the previous night, the team looked to make it two in a row over Atlanta the following afternoon. The Mets scored four runs in the seventh inning and came away with a 6-5 win.

Mets’ starter Victor Zambrano recorded two strikeouts in a perfect top of the first inning. Jose Reyes doubled against the Braves’ Tim Hudson leading off the bottom half. Kazuo Matsui grounded out to first baseman Adam LaRoche (moving Reyes to third base) and Carlos Beltran drew a walk. An ensuing single by Carlos Delgado scored Reyes for a 1-0 Mets lead. David Wright hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Edgar Renteria. Hudson then retired Cliff Floyd on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Marcus Giles.

After striking out Andruw Jones to begin the top of the second, Zambrano suffered an injured right elbow and had to leave the game. Mets’ reliever Darren Oliver came in to pitch and got LaRoche to ground out to shortstop Reyes. Jeff Francoeur hit a game-tying home run and Ryan Langerhans singled to center field. Oliver struck out Todd Pratt to end the inning. Hudson then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Oliver shut down the Braves in the top of the third. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Beltran homered to reclaim a one-run lead for the Mets. Delgado singled to left field and Wright hit a force play grounder to Renteria for the third out. Following a scoreless fourth, Oliver fanned all three Atlanta batters in the top of the fifth. Darren led off the bottom half with a double to left field. Reyes grounded out to third baseman Chipper Jones and a ground out by Matsui to Giles advanced Oliver to third base. Hudson then struck out Beltran to end the inning.

Renteria doubled with one out in the top of the sixth. An ensuing single by Chipper Jones scored Renteria and retied the game. Bartolome Fortunato replaced Oliver on the mound and got Andruw Jones on a grounder to Reyes for an inning-ending double play. Hudson set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Leading off the top of the seventh, LaRoche hit a home run to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Francoeur flied out to left fielder Floyd and a line drive by Langerhans was caught by second baseman Matsui. Fortunato then retired Pratt on a fly ball to center fielder Beltran for the inning’s final out.

Xavier Nady began the bottom of the seventh inning with a single to center field. Ramon Castro went down on strikes and pinch-hitter Jose Valentin hit a single. Reyes singled to drive home Nady with the tying run and moved on to second base via an error by Chipper Jones. Matsui followed with a double to plate Valentin and Reyes, putting the Mets ahead by a score of 5-3. Beltran was given an intentional walk. Hudson was then replaced on the mound by Atlanta reliever Mike Remlinger.

Remlinger retired Delgado on a fly ball to left fielder Brian Jordan for the second out of the inning. With the Braves’ Peter Moylan pitching to Wright, Matsui and Beltran executed a double steal to put Mets runners on second and third. Moylan issued a walk to Wright that loaded the bases. Floyd drew a walk to force home Matsui with the sixth New York run of the game. Moylan then struck out Nady to bring the inning to an end.

Mets’ reliever Chad Bradford fanned pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit to open the top of the eighth. Giles hit a single and Renteria drew a walk. Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch for the Mets and struck out Chipper Jones. Jordan singled to drive home Giles and cut the Mets’ lead to 6-4. Feliciano got LaRoche on a called third strike for the final out of the inning. Atlanta’s Oscar Villareal then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

For New York, reliever Jorge Julio struck out Francoeur to start the top of the ninth. Langerhans drew a walk and advanced to third base on a pinch-hit single by Brian McCann. Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz singled to drive home Langerhans and reduce the Mets’ lead to one run. Giles flied out to right fielder Endy Chavez to advance McCann from second to third base. Julio then retired Renteria on a ground ball to Reyes that ended the game. The Mets had their second straight victory of the weekend series.

Notes

  • Zambrano’s injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. He did not appear in another game for the Mets.
  • The save for Julio was his only one as a Mets pitcher.