2009-08-19 / Sports

Mets Defeat Braves, 9-4 At Citi Field

Mets Defeat Braves, 9-4 At Citi Field


By Dan Miller
The New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves, 9-4 in the opening game of a three-game series at Citi Field on Tuesday August 18.

Oliver Perez (33-3) pitched five innings and got the win, his first in seven starts.
Photos Dan Miller/DMD Images

  The Braves sent 12-game winner Derek Lowe (12-7, 4.08) to the mound. The Mets countered with often erratic and recently injured Oliver Perez (2-3,5.97). The Braves exploded for three runs on three hits in the top of the second inning, the big blow coming on a three-run home run by Atlanta right fielder Matt Diaz. The Braves added a run off Perez in the very next inning on an Adam La Roche home run. La Roche replaced first baseman Martin Prado, who left the game following his at bat in the first inning with a sudden onset headache. He returned to Atlanta for tests.

 The Mets shocked and delighted their fans by erupting for eight runs on 10 hits in the fourth inning to take the lead, 8-4. Angel Pagan singled to shortstop. Luis Castillo singled through the hole at second base, moving Pagan to third. Gary Sheffield doubled to right center field. Pagan and Castillo scored on the play. Daniel Murphy grounded out to second base as Sheffield moved to third base. Jeff Francoeur doubled to left-center, driving home Sheffield. Fernando Tatis singled through the hole at shortstop, scoring Francoeur. Omir Santos continued the rally by singling to right-center field sending Santos to third. Infielder Anderson Hernandez singled up the middle, scoring Tatis and Santos stopped at second. Perez faked a bunt and instead drove a single to right field, moving the runners along, Santos to third and Hernandez to second.  Leadoff hitter Pagan grounded into a force play scoring Santos and moving Hernandez to third. With Castillo batting, Pagan stole second base. Castillo promptly singled through the hole at second base, scoring Hernandez and Pagan.

Gary Sheffield collected his second double in the Mets’ fourth inning to become the first Mets player since Jeromy Burnitz to have two extra base hits in a single inning.

The Braves manager had seen enough and replaced starter Derik Lowe with Kris Medlin, who was greeted by a Sheffield double to left field, moving Castillo to third base. Murphy struck out to end the Mets’ record setting inning. In all, the Mets scored eight runs on 10 hits and established or broke existing records, all in the fourth inning.

Perez left the game with an aggravated knee, injured while he fielded a ball in the fourth inning. He pitched five innings, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out four and allowing one walk and two home runs. Perez’ record is now 3-3 with an ERA of 6.06.

 The hitting stars for the Mets were Castillo, who went 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored, Sheffield, who went 3-5 with two RBI and one run scored, including two doubles, and Jeff Francoeur, who went 3-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. In all, the Mets pounded out 17 hits, a new season high for 2009.

Anderson Hernandez singled in the fourth inning, driving in Fernando Tatis with what became the winning run in the Mets’ 9-4 drubbing of the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets will play the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend. On Saturday evening August 22 the Mets will welcome back more than 20 former Mets stars from the 1969 World Championship Team to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ’69 Miracle Mets Championship season. Tickets are still available for the Mets-Phillies game after the ’69 Miracle Mets are introduced to the Citi Field crowd.

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