October 2, 2009: Francoeur and Murphy Slug Astros

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Date: October 2, 2009
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 7
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: John Maine
Key player(s): Jeff Francoeur, Daniel Murphy, John Maine
Key play: Francoeur’s and Murphy’s home run

The Mets faced the Astros on a Friday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Jeff Francoeur and Daniel Murphy hit two-run homers in a 7-1 Mets win over Houston.

Mets’ starter John Maine pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Angel Pagan singled against the Astros’ Wandy Rodriguez to lead off the bottom half. Pagan stole second base and advanced to third on Luis Castillo’s ground out to second baseman Kazuo Matsui. David Wright hit a double to drive home Pagan for a 1-0 Mets lead. Carlos Beltran was retired on a line drive to left fielder Carlos Lee. Rodriguez then got Francoeur to fly out to right fielder Hunter Pence and end the inning.

After scoreless second and third innings, Lance Berkman got a one-out single in the top of the fourth. Berkman advanced to third base on Lee’s double and scored the tying run on Geoff Blum’s ground out to first baseman Fernando Tatis. Pence grounded out to third baseman Wright to finish off the inning and Francoeur singled to open the bottom half. Tatis hit a single and Omir Santos flied out to Lee. Rodriguez then got Anderson Hernandez on a double play ground ball to third baseman Blum for the inning’s final outs.

Maine gave up only a bunt single to Matsui in the top of the fifth. Rodriguez hurled a perfect bottom half and Maine set down the side in order in the top of the sixth. Wright got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Beltran was retired on a line drive to center fielder Michael Bourn. Wright stole second base and Francoeur homered for a 3-1 Mets lead. Tatis popped out to Matsui and a walk to Santos followed. Rodriguez then retired Hernandez on a grounder to Matsui to close out the inning.

Maine pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Nick Evans tripled against Houston reliever Tim Byrdak to begin the bottom half. Byrdak responded with strikeouts of both Pagan and Castillo before the Astros’ Samuel Gervacio fanned Wright to end the inning. Pinch-hitter Darin Erstad singled against the Mets’ Bobby Parnell to lead off the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger grounded to second baseman Castillo for a double play. Parnell then fanned Bourn for the third out of the inning.

Francoeur got a one-out single against Houston reliever Doug Brocail in the bottom of the eighth. Tatis followed with a single that sent Francoeur to third base. Santos singled to score Francoeur and advance Tatis to third. Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to plate Tatis and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-1. Pinch-hitter Murphy slugged a homer for the sixth and seventh New York runs of the game. Pagan singled and Brocail retired Castillo on a fly ball to Bourn to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Sean Green got Miguel Tejada on a ground ball to Tatis to start the top of the ninth. Berkman grounded out to Castillo. Lee then grounded back to Green for the game’s final out. The Mets had a solid victory.

Notes

  • This was Brocail’s last game of his 15-season major league career