New York – On a cold and windy evening at Citi Field Friday evening, the New York Mets bats were hot as catcher Rod Barajas and right fielder Jeff Francoeur hit two home runs apiece as New York came from behind 2-0 and defeated the Washington Nationals 8-2 in the first game of a three-game series.
It was unexpected power from the Mets who hit the fewest home runs in baseball last year. Since the opening day home run from David Wright on Monday, New York had gone 28 innings without hitting a long ball and it was the first time in the brief history at Citi Field that two Mets players had multi home runs games. Right hander Mike Pelfrey had an impressive first outing of the season pitching six innings, allowing four hits on two runs.
“We knew we had some guys with that type of power,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel. “We needed to get some swings and pull it out of the park. It is important for our team that we can score some runs quickly,” the manger added about how the Mets came from behind and used the home run ball to even theiur record at 2-2 on their first home stand of the season.
Pelfrey, who struggled all of last season with his concentration on the mound was able to stay out of trouble and was satisfied with his first outing. So was Manuel who said, “I thought he controlled the strike zone and got in a little bit of trouble and stayed on the mound.”
“Feel more under control of myself and I am not letting things bother me,” said Pelfrey about the difference from last year where he left emotions get to him when he was on the mound.
New York optioned shortstop Ruben Tejada to Triple A Buffalo after the game to make room for Jose Reyes who will return to action Saturday after a short stint on the disabled. Tejada recorded his first Major league hit in the top of the eighth inning.
Oliver Perez makes his first start for New York in game two of the series Saturday opposing Washington lefty (0-1) John Laanan