April 24, 2003: Ten-Hit Attack Beats Astros
|Date: April 24, 2003|
|Mets starter: Pedro Astacio|
|Winning pitcher: Pedro Astacio|
|Key player(s): Pedro Astacio, Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Timo Perez|
|Key play: Alomar’s and Perez’s doubles, Vaughn’s RBI groundouts|
The Mets faced the Astros on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets collected ten hits in a 7-4 win over Houston.
Mets’ starter Pedro Astacio hit Craig Biggio with a pitch to begin the top of the first inning. Biggio advanced to third base on Geoff Blum’s single and came home as Jeff Bagwell grounded to shortstop Joe McEwing for a double play. Astacio retired Lance Berkman on a pop-up to third baseman Jay Bell to end the inning and Roberto Alomar drew a walk against the Astros’ Wade Miller to lead off the bottom half. Alomar went to second on Bell’s single and to third after Cliff Floyd’s fly out to right fielder Richard Hidalgo. Mo Vaughn grounded out to shortstop Julio Lugo to score Alomar and tie the game at 1-1. Raul Gonzalez walked and Miller got Timo Perez on a fly ball to left fielder Berkman to close out the inning.
Astacio set down the side in order in the top of the second. Vance Wilson hit a single to open the bottom half. McEwing popped out to first baseman Bagwell and a sacrifice bunt by Astacio advanced Wilson to second base. Vance went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Alomar’s double for a 2-1 Mets lead. Bell got hit by a pitch and moved to second (with Alomar going to third) on a wild pitch. Miller then retired Floyd on a fly ball to Berkman to finish off the inning.
Astacio hurled a scoreless top of the third. Gonzalez and Perez got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom half. Wilson went down on strikes and McEwing was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to Hidalgo. Astacio surrendered only a walk to Berkman in the top of the fourth and got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Alomar and Bell drew consecutive walks that loaded the bases and Miller was replaced on the mound by Houston reliever Bruce Chen. Floyd hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Astacio and increase the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Vaughn grounded out to third baseman Blum to score Alomar and a bunt single by Gonzalez brought home Bell. Perez doubled to drive home Gonzalez for a 6-1 New York lead. Astros’ reliever Peter Munro then threw a called third strike past Wilson to end the inning.
Astacio yielded just a single to Hidalgo in the top of the fifth. McEwing got an infield single to open the bottom half. Joe advanced to second base on Astacio’s ground out to Lugo and scored the Mets’ seventh run on a double by Alomar. Bell went down on strikes and Floyd drew a walk. Munro threw a called third strike past Vaughn for the inning’s final out and Biggio got a one-out single in the top of the sixth. Biggio went to second on Blum’s ground out to first baseman Vaughn and scored on Bagwell’s single, reducing the Mets’ lead to 7-2. Astacio struck out Berkman to finish off the inning. Houston reliever Ricky Stone then hurled a perfect bottom half.
Mets’ reliever Scott Strickland retired the side on three straight ground balls to McEwing in the top of the seventh. Stone set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Strickland gave up just a single to Lugo in the top of the eighth. The Astros’ Billy Wagner pitched a perfect bottom half and Berkman hit a solo home run against New York’s Jaime Cerda with one out in the top of the ninth. Jeff Kent homered for the fourth Houston run and Cerda threw a called third strike past Hidalgo. Brad Ausmus singled and Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez retired pinch-hitter Orlando Merced on a grounder to first baseman Tony Clark for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory to close out the series.