April 14, 2002: Alomar and Piazza Sink Expos

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Date: April 14, 2002
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 6
Expos: 4
Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel
Key player(s): Roberto Alomar, Mike Piazza
Key play: Alomar’s two home runs, Piazza’s single

The Mets faced the Expos on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. On the 90th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, Roberto Alomar and Mike Piazza sank the Montreal team with a combined five runs batted in to lead the Mets to a 6-4 win.

Mets’ starter Steve Trachsel set down the Expos in order in the top of the first inning. Timo Perez singled against Montreal’s Tony Armas to begin the bottom half. Mark Johnson drew a walk and Alomar hit a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Piazza drew a walk and Jeromy Burnitz hit a ground ball to first baseman Lee Stevens for a double play. Armas then got John Valentin to pop out to second baseman Mike Mordecai and end the inning.

Stevens and Orlando Cabrera got back-to-back singles to open the top of the second. Brian Schneider hit a grounder on which first baseman Johnson threw to shortstop Joe McEwing for a force out at second base on Cabrera. On the play, McEwing made an error that allowed Stevens to come home. Chris Truby grounded out to third baseman Valentin and a walk to Brad Wilkerson followed. Trachsel struck out Armas to finish off the inning. The Mets were then retired 1-2-3 by Armas in the bottom half.

Peter Bergeron drew a walk to lead off the top of the third inning. Bergeron went to second base on Mordecai’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a double by Vladimir Guerrero. Stevens’ ground out to second baseman Alomar advanced Guerrero to third. Cabrera drew a walk and stole second. Schneider doubled to drive home Guerrero and Cabrera, giving the Expos a 4-3 lead. Trachsel then fanned Truby to close out the inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Alomar hit his second homer against Armas to tie the game. Piazza was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Guerrero for the third out and Trachsel hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Armas shut down the Mets in the bottom half and Trachsel set down all three Montreal batters in the top of the fifth. Armas retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Truby hit a two-out double in the top of the sixth. Wilkerson was given an intentional walk. Trachsel then got Armas on a force play grounder to Alomar for the inning’s final out.

Johnson drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. Alomar singled to advance Johnson to third base. On his own hit, Roberto was out at second via a throw by Guerrero to shortstop Cabrera. Piazza followed with a single to bring home Johnson for a 5-4 Mets lead. With Burnitz at bat, Mike was caught stealing on catcher Schneider’s throw to Cabrera. Armas then walked Burnitz and got Valentin on a fly ball to center fielder Bergeron that ended the inning.

Trachsel and Mets’ reliever Mark Guthrie combined to shut down the Expos in the top of the seventh. Jay Payton doubled against Montreal’s Britt Reames to begin the bottom half. An ensuing sacrifice bunt by McEwing moved Payton to third base. Pinch-hitter Tony Tarasco reached on an error by Mordecai that allowed Payton to score the Mets’ sixth run. Reames was replaced on the mound by the Expos’ Scott Stewart, who retired Perez on a pop-up to Cabrera. Stewart then walked pinch-hitter Edgardo Alfonzo and got Alomar to hit a force play ground ball to Cabrera for the inning’s third out.

Mets’ reliever Scott Strickland pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Montreal’s Bruce Chen hurled a scoreless bottom half. To begin the top of the ninth inning, New York’s Armando Benitez retired Wilkerson on a fly ball to center fielder Payton. Pinch-hitter Andres Galarraga was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Benitez then recorded strikeouts of pinch-hitter Henry Rodriguez and Mordecai to end the game. The Mets had a victory to close out the weekend series.