April 27, 2002: Astacio and Benitez Three-Hit Brewers

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Date: April 27, 2002
Mets starter: Pedro Astacio
Mets: 2
Brewers: 1
Winning pitcher: Pedro Astacio
Key player(s): Pedro Astacio, Armando Benitez, Jeromy Burnitz, Vance Wilson
Key play: Burnitz’s single, Wilson’s double

The Mets faced the Brewers on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Pedro Astacio and Armando Benitez combined for a three-hitter in a 2-1 Mets win over Milwaukee.

Astacio retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. Roberto Alomar hit a double against Brewers’ starter Nick Neugebauer to lead off the bottom half. Alomar moved to third base on Roger Cedeno’s sacrifice bunt and Mo Vaughn popped out to shortstop Jose Hernandez. Jeromy Burnitz singled to drive home Alomar for a 1-0 Mets lead. Neugebauer then retired Edgardo Alfonzo on a fly ball to center fielder Alex Sanchez for the third out.

Astacio and Neugebauer each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Pedro hit Lenny Harris with a pitch for the only Milwaukee baserunner while the Mets were unable to score with three hits and a walk against Neugebauer. Astacio hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Alfonzo got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Jay Payton was retired on a line drive to second baseman Mark Loretta. Alfonzo stole second base and scored the Mets’ second run on a double by Vance Wilson. Rey Ordonez was walked intentionally and Neugebauer struck out Astacio to end the inning.

Geoff Jenkins singled for the Brewers’ first hit with one out in the top of the seventh. Matt Stairs drew a walk and Tyler Houston grounded to second baseman Alomar for a double play that closed out the inning. Milwaukee reliever Ray King retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half and Hernandez singled with one out in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Raul Casanova hit a single on which Hernandez scored all the way from first base. Astacio got pinch-hitter Richie Sexson to fly out to center fielder Payton and retired Sanchez on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Ordonez. The Brewers’ Luis Vizcaino then set down all three batters in the bottom half.

Benitez hit Loretta with a pitch to begin the top of the ninth. Jenkins was struck out and Stairs took a called third strike. Armando then retired Houston on a fly ball to left fielder Cedeno for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory with solid pitching.