May 7, 2012: Valdespin's Homer in 9th Downs Phils

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Date: May 7, 2012
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 5
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Tim Byrdak
Key player(s): David Wright, Jordany Valdespin
Key play: Wright’s two-run double, Valdespin’s three-run homer

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Monday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the opener of a series at Citizen’s Bank Park. Jordany Valdespin hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 5-2 win over the Phils.

Philadelphia starter Roy Halladay pitched a perfect top of the first. Leading off the bottom half, Jimmie Rollins doubled and advanced to third base on an error by center fielder Andres Torres. An ensuing sacrifice fly by John Mayberry scored Rollins with the first run of the game. Shane Victorino hit a single and Hunter Pence followed with a force play ground ball to third baseman David Wright. Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese then threw a called third strike past Ty Wigginton to close out the inning.

Halladay held the Mets to a single by Daniel Murphy in a scoreless top of the second. Carlos Ruiz drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Placido Polanco hit a double to left-center field that plated Ruiz for a 2-0 Phillies lead. Freddy Galvis grounded out to shortstop Justin Turner to move Polanco to third base. Niese then got Halladay on a called third strike and fanned Rollins swinging to end the inning.

Halladay and Niese each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Torres drew a two-out walk and moved to second base on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’s single to left-center field. Wright hit a double down the left field line that brought home Torres and Nieuwenhuis with the tying runs. Halladay struck out Lucas Duda to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever Manny Acosta then set down the Phils in order in the bottom half.

Despite a pair of infield singles, Halladay shut down the Mets in the top of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Juan Pierre drew a walk against the Mets’ Bobby Parnell to open the bottom half. Rollins hit a single and Mayberry flied out to right fielder Duda. An infield single by Victorino loaded the bases. On Pence’s ensuing grounder, second baseman Murphy threw to Turner for an out on Victorino. Pence beat Turner’s throw to first baseman Ike Davis, but was ruled out via an interference call on Victorino that negated a run scored by Pierre and ended the inning with the game still knotted at 2-2.

Phils’ reliever Antonio Bastardo hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. Wigginton and Ruiz began the bottom half with back-to-back singles. A sacrifice bunt by Polanco advanced the runners to second and third. Galvis hit a grounder on which Parnell threw to catcher Josh Thole for an out at home on Wigginton. Thole was injured on the play and replaced by Mike Nickeas. Mets’ reliever Tim Byrdak then struck out pinch-hitter Erik Kratz to end the inning.

Davis drew a walk against Philadelphia’s Jonathan Papelbon with one out in the top of the ninth. Turner went down on strikes and Nickeas hit a double to send Davis to third base. Valdespin came up to pinch-hit for Byrdak and slugged a home run (his first major league hit) that put the Mets ahead. Papelbon then retired Torres on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Mayberry.

Rollins grounded out to Mets’ reliever Frank Francisco to start the bottom of the ninth. Mayberry went down on strikes for the second out of the inning. Francisco then got Victorino to ground out to Murphy and end the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.

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