Sheets tops Santana in duel of pitching Aces

Ben Sheets continued his dominant 2008 season when the Brewers beat the Mets 5-3 on Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The win raised Milwaukee’s record to 7-4 and snapped their 3-game losing streak in the process. Sheets is now 2-0 with three quality starts and is showing signs of the dominance that Brewer fans know he possesses.
Heading into the game, Sheets had not allowed a run in 15 1/3 innings of work in 2008. That ended in the bottom of the first inning on a David Wright sacrifice fly that scored Angel Pagan. Carlos Beltran later scored on a Carlos Delgado double that gave the Mets an early 2-0 lead.
Sheets helped is own cause in the second when his sacrifice bunt scored Corey Hart and moved JJ Hardy to second base. That made the score 2-1 and the rest of the Brewers offense would come on their meal-ticket from 2007: home runs. Bill Hall homered in the fourth to tie the game. It was Hall’s fifth homer on the young season. The Brewers took the lead for good in the fifth inning on Rickie Weeks first long-ball of the year. Gabe Kapler continued his hot start with a 2-run homer in the seventh in which Rickie Weeks scored his second run of the day.
All the Brewers damage came off of Johan Santana who was making his Shea Stadium debut. Santana went 6 2/3 innings while allowing five runs, four of which were earned. Although he struck out seven, he gave up six hits, walked two and surrendered three gopher balls.
Sheets went 7 2/3 innings and struck out five while only walking two. All three runs he gave up were earned. He did surrender a home run to David Wright in the seventh.
Eric Gagne came on to work a scoreless ninth to notch his second save of the season.
Also of note, Hernan Iribarren made his major league debut in the ninth as a pinch hitter. Iribarren promptly got his first major league hit. Reality then set in as he was immediately picked off of first base.
The Brewers go for the series win tomorrow as Jeff Suppan takes the mound against Oliver Perez for the Mets.

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