September 13, 2004: Mets Beat Braves in DH Opener

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Date: September 13, 2004
Mets starter: Aaron Heilman
Mets: 9
Braves: 7
Winning pitcher: Aaron Heilman
Key player(s): Mike Piazza, Craig Brazell, Richard Hidalgo
Key play: Piazza’s and Hidalgo’s home runs, Brazell’s double

The Mets faced the Braves in a doubleheader on a Monday evening. The teams played a two-hour and forty-four-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. The Mets came from behind and emerged with a 9-7 win over Atlanta.

Aaron Heilman and the Braves’ Jaret Wright each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Heilman yielded just a single to Marcus Giles in the top of the third and Wilson Delgado hit a home run to lead off the bottom half. Jaret Wright retired the next three Mets batters to end the inning and Adam LaRoche doubled with one out in the top of the fourth. Andruw Jones slugged a two-run homer and Charles Thomas singled. Thomas advanced to second base on Jaret Wright’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a triple by Rafael Furcal. Giles followed with a double that scored Furcal for a 4-1 Braves lead. Heilman struck out J. D. Drew to finish off the inning. Jaret Wright then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Heilman set down the side in order in the top of the fifth. Jaret Wright surrendered only a walk to Mike Cameron in the bottom of the inning and Heilman retired all three batters in the top of the sixth. Cliff Floyd singled against Jaret Wright to begin the bottom half. Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer and David Wright singled. Richard Hidalgo went down on strikes and Eric Valent hit a single to send David Wright to third base. Delgado was struck out and pinch-hitter Craig Brazell doubled to drive home David Wright and Valent, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead. Cameron singled against Atlanta reliever Kevin Gryboski to plate Brazell with the sixth New York run of the game. With Jeff Keppinger at bat, Cameron was caught stealing second on catcher Johnny Estrada’s throw to shortstop Furcal to close out the inning.

Furcal drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Ricky Bottalico to open the top of the seventh. Giles grounded out to third baseman David Wright and a double by J. D. Drew drove home Furcal. Bottalico got Chipper Jones to fly out to left fielder Floyd. New York’s Mike Stanton retired Estrada on a fly ball to right fielder Hidalgo that ended the inning and Piazza singled against the Braves’ Travis Smith with two outs in the bottom half. David Wright hit a single and Hidalgo connected for a three-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 9-5. Smith then got Valent to fly out to left fielder Thomas and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Bartolome Fortunato hurled a perfect top of the eighth. The Braves’ Tim Drew retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half and Giles got a two-out single against New York’s Braden Looper in the top of the ninth. J. D. Drew singled and came around to score with Giles on a double by Chipper Jones. Looper then struck out Estrada to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.