April 15, 2002: Mets Come Back to Beat Braves

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Date: April 15, 2002
Mets starter: Shawn Estes
Mets: 7
Braves: 6
Winning pitcher: Scott Strickland
Key player(s): Mike Piazza, John Valentin, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Valentin's home run, Alfonzo's single in 12th

The Mets faced the Braves on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The game entered extra innings after a Mets' comback from a five-run deficit. The Mets ended up as a 7-6 winner with a run in the bottom of the twelfth.

The Braves scored five times against Shawn Estes in the second inning. Vinny Castilla homered to lead off and singles by Julio Franco and Marcus Giles followed. Estes then got two ground outs, but Rafael Furcal singled to score Franco and Giles with Andruw Jones adding a two-run homer. The Mets got a run in the bottom of the inning on Mike Piazza's leadoff homer against Damian Moss.

In the top of the third, Henry Blanco's sacrifice fly scored Castilla to make it a 6-1 Atlanta lead. Moss then retired the Mets in order from the third inning to the sixth. For New York, Grant Roberts relieved Estes and struck out five Brave batters while pitching scoreless ball in the sixth and seventh.

Piazza led off the bottom of the seventh with his second homer off Moss. Back-to-back doubles by Edgardo Alfonzo and Jeromy Burnitz followed to score another run. After Burnitz moved to third base on an out, Rey Ordonez got a bunt single off reliever Darren Holmes to bring home Jeromy. Pinch-hitter John Valentin then hit a two-run homer off Mike Remlinger to tie the game for the Mets.

Kane Davis and David Weathers pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings for New York. Armando Benitez added two innings of scoreless one-hit relief. The Mets, however, were unable to score against Braves' relievers Tim Spooneybarger and Chris Hammond. Through the end of the 11th inning, the score remained at 6-6.

In the top of the 12th, Scott Strickland retired the Atlanta hitters in order. Jay Payton then got a one-out single off Hammond in the bottom of the inning. Hammond struck out Roberto Alomar before walking Piazza to move Payton to second base. Alfonzo followed with a single off reliever Kevin Gryboski, scoring Payton with the winning run. The Mets had an impressive come-from-behind victory.