April 22, 2000: Another Five-Run Inning Jolts Cubs

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Date: April 22, 2000
Mets starter: Dennis Springer
Mets: 7
Cubs: 6
Winning pitcher: Dennis Cook
Key player(s): Benny Agbayani, Robin Ventura, Rey Ordonez
Key play: Agbayani’s two-run single, Ventura’s home run, Ordonez’s single

The Mets and Cubs played a doubleheader on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. After winning the opener, the Mets looked for a sweep in the second game of the twinbill. For the second time on the day, the Mets scored five runs in an inning. The team came out with a 7-6 win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter Dennis Springer pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Derek Bell singled against the Cubs’ Kyle Farnsworth. Mike Piazza hit a single and Robin Ventura flied out to left fielder Henry Rodriguez. Todd Zeile drew a walk to load the bases. Benny Agbayani singled to score Bell and Piazza for a 2-0 Mets lead. On Agbayani’s hit, Zeile was out at third base via a throw by Rodriguez to third baseman Jeff Huson to end the inning.

Springer and Farnsworth each hurled scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Jeff Reed drew a walk to begin the top of the fifth. Reed advanced to second base on Roosevelt Brown’s ground out to first baseman Zeile and came home on a single by Huson. Farnsworth was struck out and Eric Young hit a double to left field. Springer retired Ricky Gutierrez on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Rey Ordonez. Farnsworth then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Sammy Sosa got a one-out single in the top of the sixth inning. Rodriguez followed with a double to send Sosa to third base. Reed doubled to score Sosa and Rodriguez, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead. Brown hit a single and Springer was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook. With pinch-hitter Shane Andrews at bat, Cook caught Brown with a successful pickoff throw to Zeile. Cook then issued an intentional walk to Andrews and got Farnsworth to hit a force play grounder to second baseman Kurt Abbott for the inning’s final out.

Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Ventura homered against Farnsworth to tie the game. Zeile hit a double and Agbayani drew a walk. Abbott got a bunt single to load the bases and Mark Guthrie came in to pitch for Chicago. Ordonez greeted Guthrie with a single that plated both Zeile and Agbayani for a 5-3 Mets lead. A sacrifice bunt by Cook advanced the runners to second and third. Pinch-hitter Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Abbott and a walk to Bell ensued. Piazza reached on an error by third baseman Andrews that allowed Ordonez to score the Mets’ fifth run of the inning and seventh of the game. Guthrie then threw a called third strike past Ventura for the third out.

Mark Grace singled against Cook with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. Sosa drew a walk and Rodriguez hit a double to bring home Grace. Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell struck out pinch-hitter Glenallen Hill to finish off the inning and the Cubs’ Daniel Garibay pitched a scoreless bottom half. Wendell surrendered only a walk to Joe Girardi in the top of the eighth. Garibay then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

Gutierrez grounded back to Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez to open the top of the ninth. Grace flied out to left fielder Jay Payton and a single by Sosa followed. Rodriguez homered to reduce the Mets’ lead to one run. Benitez then struck out pinch-hitter Tarrik Brock to end the game. The Mets had a victory and a sweep of the doubleheader.