September 9, 2011: Turner's Double in 9th Downs Cubs

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Date: September 9, 2011
Mets starter: Mike Pelfrey
Mets: 5
Cubs: 4
Winning pitcher: Manny Acosta
Key player(s): Justin Turner, Jason Bay, Nick Evans
Key play: Bay’s and Turner’s RBI doubles

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Friday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Justin Turner hit a run-scoring double in the ninth inning to give a 5-4 Mets win over Chicago.

Mike Pelfrey and the Cubs’ Casey Coleman each pitched two innings of one-hit scoreless ball to start the game. Aramis Ramirez doubled with two outs in the top of the third. Carlos Pena followed with a home run for a 2-0 Chicago lead. Pelfrey retired Alfonso Soriano on a fly ball to center fielder Angel Pagan to close out the inning. Coleman then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Marlon Byrd hit a leadoff single in the top of the fourth. Brian LaHair tripled to drive home Byrd with the Cubs’ third run of the game. Geovany Soto was retired on a line drive to third baseman David Wright. Coleman then flied out to left fielder Jason Bay, who threw to catcher Josh Thole for an out at home on LaHair to finish off the inning.

Turner singled to open the bottom of the third. Justin advanced to third base on Lucas Duda’s single and came home on Wright’s force play ground ball to shortstop Starlin Castro. Pagan hit a single and went to third on Bay’s double that scored Wright. Nick Evans grounded out to Castro to plate Pagan and tie the game at 3-3. Coleman then got Thole on a ground ball to Castro for the inning’s final out.

Pelfrey hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Jose Reyes hit a ground-rule double with one out in the bottom half. Turner doubled to bring home Reyes and put the Mets ahead, 4-3. Duda was called out on strikes and Wright got an infield single to send Turner to third base. Coleman then retired Pagan on a grounder to first baseman Pena for the third out of the inning.

Pelfrey set down all three batters in the top of the sixth. Chicago reliever Andrew Cashner pitched a scoreless bottom half and LaHair drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh. Soto was retired on a pop-up to second baseman Turner. Pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt got a single on a grounder that struck pinch-runner Tony Campana for an out. Pelfrey hit Castro with a pitch and Mets’ reliever Josh Stinson got Darwin Barney on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Duda. For the Cubs, reliever Jeff Samardzija retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Stinson and Mets’ relievers Tim Byrdak and Bobby Parnell teamed up for a scoreless top of the eighth. Samardzija hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Soto drew a one-out walk against New York’s Manny Acosta in the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson lined out to Turner and a single by Castro ensued. Barney hit a single to drive home pinch-runner Luis Montanez and tie the game at 4-4. Acosta then retired Ramirez on a fly ball to Duda to close out the inning.

Evans singled against Chicago reliever Sean Marshall to open the bottom of the ninth. Thole’s sacrifice bunt advanced pinch-runner Jason Pridie to second base and pinch-hitter Ruben Tejada lined out to second baseman Barney. Reyes was given an intentional walk. Turner then delivered a ground-rule double that brought home Pridie and ended the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the weekend series.