April 23, 2002: Wilson's Single Beats Cardinals

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Date: April 23, 2002
Mets starter: Jeff D'Amico
Mets: 4
Cardinals: 3
Winning pitcher: Jeff D'Amico
Key player(s): Jay Payton, Vance Wilson
Key play: Wilson’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Vance Wilson hit a run-scoring single for a 4-3 Mets win over St. Louis.

J. D. Drew got a two-out single against Mets’ starter Jeff D'Amico in the top of the first inning. Albert Pujols slugged a two-run homer and Jim Edmonds was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Timo Perez for the third out. Perez singled against the Cards’ Matt Morris to lead off the bottom half. Roberto Alomar grounded out to second baseman Fernando Vina and a walk to Mo Vaughn ensued. Mike Piazza hit a single to drive home Perez and a single by Edgardo Alfonzo loaded the bases. Jeromy Burnitz was hit by a pitch to force home Vaughn with the tying run. Roger Cedeno singled to bring home pinch-runner Wilson and give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Morris then got Rey Ordonez to hit a double play ground ball to third baseman Placido Polanco for the inning’s final outs.

Mike DiFelice singled with two outs in the top of the second. Morris followed with a double that scored DiFelice and tied the game at 3-3. Vina flied out to Perez to end the inning and Morris set down the side in order in the bottom half. After scoreless third and fourth innings, D’Amico yielded just a single to Vina in the top of the fifth. Jay Payton hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Payton stole second base as Alomar was struck out and Vaughn was given an intentional walk. Wilson delivered a single that brought home Payton and put the Mets ahead by a run. Morris then retired Alfonzo on a grounder to first baseman Tino Martinez to close out the inning.

D’Amico and Morris each pitched scoreless ball in the sixth and seventh. Vina bunted out to D’Amico to begin the top of the eighth. Polanco doubled and Mets’ reliever Mark Guthrie struck out Drew. New York’s Scott Strickland retired Pujols on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Alfonzo, who doubled against the Cardinals’ Dave Veres with one out in the bottom half. Burnitz drew a walk and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base. Cedeno walked to load the bases and Veres got Ordonez to hit a grounder to Vina for a double play that finished off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez fanned Edmonds to start the top of the ninth. Martinez singled and pinch-runner Eli Marrero stole second base. Edgar Renteria grounded out to first baseman Vaughn to send Marrero to third. Benitez then struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo to end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the series.