September 14, 2004: Benson Shuts Out Braves on Four Hits

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Date: September 14, 2004
Mets starter: Kris Benson
Mets: 7
Braves: 0
Winning pitcher: Kris Benson
Key player(s): Kris Benson, David Wright, Cliff Floyd, Eric Valent
Key play: Wright’s, Floyd’s & Valent’s home runs

The Mets played the Braves on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 21,545 was on hand to see the second game of a four-game series. Kris Benson pitched a four-hit shutout and struck out seven batters as the Mets defeated Atlanta, 7-0.

Benson retired the Braves in order in the top of the first inning. Atlanta starter Russ Ortiz pitched a scoreless bottom half. Benson hurled another perfect inning in the top of the second. The Mets then took a 1-0 lead on a home run by David Wright leading off the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the third, Benson got Ortiz for his fifth strikeout to close another 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom half, Eric Valent and Cliff Floyd hit solo home runs. Benson shut down the Braves despite an error by first baseman Mike Piazza in the top of the fourth. Ortiz then set down the Mets in order on three ground balls in the bottom of the inning.

Johnny Estrada singled for the first Atlanta hit to begin the top of the fifth. Benson struck out Adam LaRoche and gave up a single to Andruw Jones. Kris retired Charles Thomas on a pop-up to catcher Jason Phillips. He then got Ortiz to line out to Piazza, ending the inning.

Ortiz walked Floyd with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Cliff stole second base before an ensuing walk to Piazza. Wright hit a single to score Floyd for a 4-0 Mets lead. Mike Cameron then hit a line drive to left fielder Thomas for the third out.

After Benson pitched a perfect top of the sixth, Wilson Delgado drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Delgado moved to second base on Benson’s sacrifice bunt and to third on a single by Valent. Jeff Keppinger hit a single to bring home Delgado for the Mets’ fifth run. Against Braves’ reliever Tom Martin, Floyd and Piazza singled to drive home Valent and Keppinger, respectively. Wright was struck out by Tim Drew to close out the inning. Benson and Drew then pitched perfectly in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, Benson got Andruw Jones for his seventh strikeout to start the inning. Thomas flied out to center fielder Cameron and pinch-hitter Julio Franco reached on shortstop Delgado’s error. Rafael Furcal followed with a single for the third Atlanta hit of the game. Benson retired Marcus Giles on a fly ball to Cameron for the third out. Braves’ reliever Dan Meyer then held the Mets to a single by Keppinger in a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Benson retired the first two batters in the top of the ninth. Estrada hit a single for the fourth Atlanta hit. LaRoche then hit a pop-up to Delgado for the final out of the game. The Mets had a win on Benson’s shutout.