April 1, 2002: Mets Beat Pirates in Opener
|Date: April 1, 2002|
|Mets starter: Al Leiter|
|Winning pitcher: Al Leiter|
|Key player(s): Jay Payton|
|Key play: Mets' 3-runs in 2nd|
Al Leiter started the game with two hitless innings for the Mets. In the bottom of the second, Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo led off with singles and Jeromy Burnitz was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Pittsburgh starter Ron Villone then walked Jay Payton to force home Piazza and a sacrifice fly by Rey Ordonez scored Alfonzo. Villone struck out Leiter before Roger Cedeno doubled to bring in Burnitz for a 3-0 Mets lead.
The Pirates scored in the top of the third inning when Pokey Reese came home on an error by Leiter. The Mets regained their three-run lead on Payton's solo homer in the bottom of the fourth. Leiter and reliever David Weathers then combined for four scoreless innings from the fifth to the eighth.
The Mets loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the eighth. Roberto Alomar singled off Pirates' reliever Scott Sauerbeck to score Payton and Ordonez and extend the Met lead to 6-1. Sauerbeck then got Mo Vaughn for the twelfth strikeout of the game by the Pittsburgh pitchers.