April 9, 2004: Zeile's Double Beats Expos in San Juan

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Date: April 9, 2004
Mets starter: Tyler Yates
Mets: 3
Expos: 2
Winning pitcher: David Weathers
Key player(s): Todd Zeile, Cliff Floyd, Jose Vidro
Key play: Floyd’s home run, Vidro’s double, Zeile’s double

The Mets faced the Montreal Expos on a Friday night in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The teams played the first of three games in a weekend series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. A run-scoring double by Todd Zeile in the 11th inning gave the Mets a 3-2 win.

Expos’ starter Zach Day retired the first two batters in the top of the first inning. Cliff Floyd followed with a home run for a 1-0 Mets lead. Mike Piazza struck out to end the inning. Mets’ starter Tyler Yates then shut down Montreal despite two singles in the bottom half.

Day and Yates each pitched scoreless ball in the second and third innings. In the top of the fourth, Floyd and Piazza were hit by pitches and Mike Cameron singled to load the bases. Day fanned Jason Phillips for the first out of the inning. Karim Garcia hit into a force play to bring home Floyd for the Mets’ second run. Day struck out Ty Wigginton to close out the inning. The Expos got singles from Orlando Cabrera and Carl Everett with one out in the bottom half. Yates then recorded outs on the next two batters to keep Montreal scoreless.

Day shut down the Mets in the top of the fifth inning. Yates retired the Expos in order in the bottom half. Montreal’s Sun Kim pitched a perfect top of the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, Peter Bergeron singled and Yates set down the next three Montreal batters. Kim and Mets’ reliever Mike Stanton each pitched a scoreless seventh inning. The Mets again failed to score against Kim in the top of the eighth.

Brian Schneider led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single. Stanton walked pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll and a sacrifice bunt by Bergeron advanced the runners to second and third base. Against reliever Braden Looper, Jose Vidro hit a double to score Schneider and Carroll with the tying runs. Cabrera grounded out to third baseman Wigginton. Looper then issued an intentional walk to Everett and fanned Luis Lopez for the third out of the inning.

Expos’ reliever Rocky Biddle retired the first two batters in the top of the ninth. Kazuo Matsui doubled and Ricky Gutierrez drew a walk. Shane Spencer followed with a single to left field. Matsui tried to score from second on the hit, but was thrown out at home by left fielder Juan Rivera. Looper pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to send the game onward. Montreal’s Luis Ayala and the Mets’ David Weathers then hurled scoreless ball in the 10th.

Garcia singled to lead off the top of the 11th inning. Wigginton hit into a force play and Zeile came up to bat. Todd hit a double to left field to bring home Wigginton from first base and give the Mets a one-run lead. Matsui was walked intentionally and Gutierrez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ayala then retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Orber Moreno got Lopez to ground out to Wigginton to open the bottom of the 11th. He followed up with a strikeout of Tony Batista. Pinch-hitter Ron Calloway drew a walk and stole second base. Moreno then retired Schneider on a grounder to first baseman Zeile to end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the series in Puerto Rico.

Notes

  • Moreno’s save was the only one of his major league career.