April 20, 2003: Five-Run 7th Downs Marlins

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Date: April 20, 2003
Mets starter: Tom Glavine
Mets: 7
Marlins: 4
Winning pitcher: Tom Glavine
Key player(s): Roger Cedeno, Mo Vaughn, Vance Wilson
Key play: Cedeno’s and Vaughn’s singles, Wilson’s home run

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored five runs in the seventh inning and defeated Florida, 7-4.

Tom Glavine and the Marlins’ Josh Beckett each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Derrek Lee hit a home run to lead off the top of the fifth. Alex Gonzalez singled and Gerald Williams flied out to left fielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Gonzalez advanced to second base on Beckett’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Juan Pierre’s single for a 2-0 Florida lead. Glavine then retired Luis Castillo on a ground ball to third baseman Ty Wigginton to end the inning.

Jeromy Burnitz drew a walk to open the bottom of the fifth. Vance Wilson flied out to center fielder Pierre and a single by Rey Sanchez moved Burnitz to third base. Glavine grounded out to second baseman Castillo to drive home Burnitz and send Sanchez to second. Roberto Alomar reached on a wild pitch third strike and advanced to third on Cedeno’s single that brought home Sanchez with the tying run. Wigginton then grounded back to Beckett for the inning’s third out.

Ivan Rodriguez drew a walk to lead off the top of the sixth. Juan Encarnacion was retired on a fly ball to Shinjo. Rodriguez stole second base and went to third on an error by first baseman Mo Vaughn. Mike Lowell grounded out to second baseman Alomar and an intentional walk to Lee followed. Gonzalez singled to bring home Rodriguez and put the Fish ahead, 3-2. Williams grounded out to Glavine to finish off the inning and Beckett set down the side in order in the bottom half. Glavine then gave up only a single to Castillo in the top of the seventh.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, Wilson homered against Marlins’ reliever Vladimir Nunez to tie the game at 3-3. Sanchez hit a single and Glavine reached on Nunez’s error. Against Florida’s Michael Tejera, Alomar laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third base. Cedeno singled to score Sanchez and give the Mets a 4-3 lead. Roger stole second and Wigginton drew a walk that loaded the bases. Vaughn hit a single to drive home both Glavine and Cedeno with Wigginton going to third. Shinjo followed with a force play grounder to shortstop Gonzalez to plate Wigginton for a 7-3 New York lead. With Burnitz at bat, Shinjo was caught stealing second on catcher Rodriguez’s throw to Gonzalez to close out the inning.

Mets’ reliever David Weathers pitched a perfect top of the eighth. The Marlins’ Blaine Neal retired the side in order in the bottom half and Gonzalez homered against New York’s Mike Stanton to begin the top of the ninth. Williams got an infield single and pinch-hitter Ramon Castro popped out to Vaughn. Stanton then got Pierre and Castillo to hit consecutive force play ground balls to shortstop Sanchez for the game’s final outs. The Mets had a series-ending victory.