April 18, 2000: Mets Survive Brewers Rally

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Date: April 18, 2000
Mets starter: Mike Hampton
Mets: 10
Brewers: 7
Winning pitcher: Mike Hampton
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, Robin Ventura, Armando Benitez
Key play: Alfonzo’s RBI doubles, Ventura’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Brewers on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. After building up an eight-run lead, the Mets held off a Milwaukee comeback effort for a 10-7 win.

Mets’ starter Mike Hampton pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Jon Nunnally doubled against the Brewers’ Jaime Navarro to lead off the bottom half. Nunnally stole third base and Derek Bell went down on strikes. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a double to bring home Nunnally and came around to score on a single by Mike Piazza. Robin Ventura drew a walk and advanced to third on Todd Zeile’s single that scored Piazza. Jay Payton hit a sacrifice fly to plate Ventura for a 4-0 Mets lead. Navarro then retired Kurt Abbott on a pop-up to shortstop Mark Loretta for the third out.

Charlie Hayes drew a walk to begin the top of the second. Jose Hernandez was struck out and consecutive walks to James Mouton and Ronnie Belliard loaded the bases. Raul Casanova hit a single that brought home Hayes and James Mouton. Navarro popped out to first baseman Zeile on a bunt attempt and Marquis Grissom was struck out to end the inning. Hampton singled to lead off the bottom half. Navarro then recorded outs on each of the next three Mets batters to finish off the inning.

Following a scoreless third, Hampton surrendered only a walk to James Mouton in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom half, Mike singled and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Nunnally fouled out to third baseman Hernandez and a walk to Bell ensued. Alfonzo hit a double to drive home Hampton and a walk to Piazza loaded the bases. Ventura connected for a grand slam to extend the Mets’ lead to 9-2. Navarro then got Zeile to foul out to catcher Casanova and end the inning.

Hampton retired all three Milwaukee hitters in the top of the fifth. Abbott singled against Brewers’ reliever Curt Leskanic with one out in the bottom half. Hampton drew a walk as Abbott moved around to third base on a wild pitch. Nunnally followed with a sacrifice fly to score Abbott with the Mets’ tenth run of the game. Bell lined out to first baseman Hayes to finish off the inning and Hampton gave up just a single to Loretta in the top of the sixth. Leskanic then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Hampton set down the Brewers in order in the top of the seventh. Milwaukee reliever Matt Williams hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and Grissom hit a two-out single against Hampton in the top of the eighth. Loretta singled and Lyle Mouton walked to load the bases. Hayes drew a walk to force home Grissom. Hernandez followed with a single that scored Loretta and Lyle Mouton, cutting the Mets’ lead to 10-5. New York reliever Rich Rodriguez retired James Mouton on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Nunnally. The Brewers’ Valerio de los Santos then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Barker reached on an error by first baseman Matt Franco to begin the top of the ninth inning. Casanova singled and advanced to third base on Luis Lopez’s double that drove home Barker. Rodriguez was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez, who retired Grissom on a ground ball to shortstop Abbott that plated Casanova with the seventh Milwaukee run. Loretta hit a single and pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins went down on strikes. Benitez then fanned Hayes for the game’s final out. The Mets had withstood a Brewer rally attempt and come away with a victory.