April 21, 2001: Four Runs in 3rd Down Reds

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Date: April 21, 2001
Mets starter: Kevin Appier
Mets: 5
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Kevin Appier
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, Todd Zeile
Key play: Alfonzo’s double, Zeile’s single

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. The Mets scored four runs in the third inning in a 5-2 win.

After a scoreless first, Reds’ starter Chris Reitsma set down the side in order in the top of the second. Sean Casey homered against the Mets’ Kevin Appier to lead off the bottom half. Aaron Boone and Ruben Rivera got back-to-back singles and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base. Pokey Reese grounded out to shortstop Rey Ordonez to drive home Boone for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead. Appier then got Kelly Stinnett on a ground ball to Ordonez and threw a called third strike past Reitsma to end the inning.

To begin the top of the third, Darryl Hamilton singled and stole second base. Ordonez grounded out to shortstop Barry Larkin, who made an error on Appier’s ensuing ground ball. Jay Payton reached on a fielder’s choice grounder (on which second baseman Reese made an error) to score Hamilton. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled to plate Appier with the tying run and Mike Piazza went down on strikes. Robin Ventura was walked intentionally to load the bases. Todd Zeile followed with a single that drove home Payton and Alfonzo, giving the Mets a 4-2 lead. Reitsma fanned Tsuyoshi Shinjo for the inning’s final out. Appier then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Appier and Reitsma each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Alfonzo reached on Larkin’s second error of the game. Reitsma got Piazza to hit a force play ground ball to Larkin for the third out of the inning and Rivera drew a one-out walk in the bottom half. Reese fouled out to right fielder Shinjo and a single by Stinnett ensued. A wild pitch by Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook moved the runners to second and third base. Cook then retired pinch-hitter Dmitri Young on a pop-up to first baseman Zeile that ended the inning.

Reds’ reliever Scott Sullivan struck out Ventura to open the top of the eighth. Zeile reached second base on an error by center fielder Rivera. Shinjo hit a single to bring home Zeile with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Hamilton grounded out to Reese to send Shinjo to third and Sullivan retired Ordonez on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Alex Ochoa. For New York, reliever John Franco hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Cincinnati’s John Riedling retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez got Boone on a grounder to third baseman Ventura to begin the bottom of the inning. Rivera and Reese followed with consecutive singles and pinch-hitter Ken Griffey, Jr. flied out to Shinjo. Benitez then struck out Donnie Sadler to end the game. The Mets had a solid victory.