September 2, 2011: Three Homers Lift Mets Over Nats

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Date: September 2, 2011
Mets starter: R.A. Dickey
Mets: 7
Nationals: 3
Winning pitcher: R.A. Dickey
Key player(s): David Wright, Nick Evans, Lucas Duda, Angel Pagan
Key play: Mets’ home runs, Pagan’s single

The Mets faced the Nationals on a Friday night in Washington. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets pounded out three home runs in a 7-3 win.

Jose Reyes singled against Nats’ starter Ross Detwiler to lead off the top of the first inning. Justin Turner hit a single and Lucas Duda went down on strikes. David Wright followed with a homer for a three-run Mets lead. Detwiler retired Angel Pagan and Jason Bay on consecutive outfield fly balls to end the inning and Rick Ankiel doubled against the Mets’ R.A. Dickey with one out in the bottom half. Ryan Zimmerman was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Duda and a single by Michael Morse brought home Ankiel. Dickey then got Jayson Werth to fly out to center fielder Pagan and finish off the inning.

Leading off the top of the second, Nick Evans homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Detwiler set down the next three batters to close out the inning and Chris Marrero singled to open the bottom half. Wilson Ramos hit a single and Alex Cora was retired on a fly ball to Pagan. Detwiler’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Dickey then got Ian Desmond to fly out to Pagan and end the inning.

With one out in the top of the third, Duda singled and moved to third base on a double by Wright. Pagan followed with a single to score Duda and Wright for a 6-1 Mets lead. Bay reached on second baseman Cora’s error and Evans flied out to left fielder Morse. Detwiler retired Mike Nickeas on a pop-up to first baseman Marrero that ended the inning and Dickey pitched a perfect bottom half. Washington reliever Collin Balester retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. Dickey then gave up only a single to Werth in the bottom of the inning.

Balester surrendered just a walk to Wright in the top of the fifth. Desmond got a one-out triple in the bottom half. Ankiel slugged a home run to reduce the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Zimmerman popped out to first baseman Evans and a fly ball by Morse was caught by Pagan to end the inning. Evans singled with one out in the top of the sixth. Balester got Nickeas to ground out to Marrero and retired Dickey on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Ankiel. R. A. then yielded only a single to Ramos in the bottom half.

With two outs in the top of the seventh, Duda homered for the Mets’ seventh run of the game. Balester retired Wright on a pop-up to Cora to close out the inning and pinch-hitter Brian Bixler hit a single against Dickey to begin the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Tim Byrdak struck out Desmond and Ankiel. Zimmerman singled against New York’s Ryota Igarashi, who followed up with a strikeout of Morse that finished off the inning. Nationals’ reliever Todd Coffey pitched a perfect top of the eighth. For the Mets, reliever Josh Stinson (in his major league debut) retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Nats’ reliever Henry Rodriguez gave up just a walk to Stinson in the top of the ninth. Cora singled against Stinson to open the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina hit a ground ball to second baseman Turner for a double play and a single by Desmond ensued. Mets’ reliever Danny Herrera then struck out pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes to end the game. The Mets had a solid victory to start the weekend series.