April 10, 2002: Alomar and Piazza Slug Cubs in 8th

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Date: April 10, 2002
Mets starter: Shawn Estes
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: David Weathers
Key player(s): Shawn Estes, Roberto Alomar, Mike Piazza
Key play: Alomar’s and Piazza’s home runs

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Roberto Alomar and Mike Piazza hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning for a 3-2 Mets win.

Shawn Estes and the Cubs’ Kerry Wood each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the sixth. Wood gave up three singles and three walks while Estes yielded a single to Corey Patterson and retired all other Chicago batters. Edgardo Alfonzo drew a walk to begin the top of the seventh. Jeromy Burnitz singled and Mark Johnson’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Rey Ordonez followed with a sacrifice fly to score Alfonzo and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Wood then struck out Estes to end the inning.

Patterson walked to open the bottom of the seventh. A balk moved Patterson to second base and Sammy Sosa drew a walk. Fred McGriff reached on first baseman Johnson’s error to load the bases and Estes was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever David Weathers. Alex Gonzalez greeted Weathers with a single that brought home Patterson with the tying run. Chris Stynes followed with a ground ball on which shortstop Ordonez threw to catcher Piazza for an out at home on Sosa. Pinch-hitter Todd Hundley hit a sacrifice fly to score McGriff and put the Cubs ahead, 2-1. Weathers then retired pinch-hitter Mark Bellhorn on a grounder to second baseman Alomar for the inning’s third out.

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Alomar slugged a home run against Chicago reliever Jeff Fassero to tie the game at 2-2. An ensuing homer by Piazza put the Mets in front by a run. Fassero retired Alfonzo on a pop-up to first baseman McGriff to end the inning and Weathers set down the first two hitters in the bottom half. Patterson drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Mark Guthrie. New York’s Scott Strickland then struck out Sosa to finish off the inning.

Cubs’ relievers Donovan Osborne and Joe Borowski combined for a scoreless top of the ninth. The Mets’ Armando Benitez got McGriff on a foul pop-up to third baseman Alfonzo to start the bottom half. Gonzalez doubled and pinch-hitter Roosevelt Brown was struck out. With pinch-hitter Delino DeShields at bat, Gonzalez went to third base on Benitez’s errant pickoff throw. Armando then retired DeShields on a fly ball to left fielder Roger Cedeno for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory with some late slugging.