August 13, 2003: Piazza Returns With Five RBIs

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Date: August 13, 2003
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 9
Giants: 2
Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel
Key player(s): Mike Piazza, Ty Wigginton
Key play: Piazza’s homer and singles, Wigginton’s run-scoring double

The Mets faced the Giants on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. After missing three months with an injury, Mike Piazza made his return to the Mets lineup. Piazza drove in five runs to lead the Mets to a 9-2 win over San Francisco.

Jose Cruz, Jr. hit a double to lead off the top of the first inning. Pedro Feliz grounded out to second baseman Joe McEwing to advance Cruz to third base. A sacrifice fly by Marquis Grissom scored Cruz for a 1-0 Giants lead. Mets’ starter Steve Trachsel retired Barry Bonds on a grounder to first baseman Jason Phillips to end the inning. The Mets were then set down in order by San Francisco’s Jerome Williams in the bottom half.

Trachsel pitched a scoreless top of the second. Williams issued a walk to Cliff Floyd to begin the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back singles by Phillips and Timo Perez loaded the bases and Ty Wigginton was hit by a pitch to force home Floyd with the tying run. McEwing flied out to center fielder Grissom and a pop-up by Trachsel was caught by third baseman Feliz. Williams got Roger Cedeno to hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo to end the inning. Trachsel then set down the Giants in order in the top of the third.

Jose Reyes got a bunt single to open the bottom of the third inning. Reyes stole second base and Piazza hit a two-run homer that put the Mets ahead, 3-1. Williams retired the next two batters and gave up a single to Perez. Timo stole second and third before scoring the Mets’ fourth run on a double by Wigginton. Williams issued an intentional walk to McEwing and retired Trachsel on an inning-ending pop-up to Alfonzo. Steve then hurled a scoreless top of the fourth.

Cedeno drew a walk to begin the bottom of the fourth inning. Reyes grounded out to Feliz to send Cedeno to second base. Roger scored on Piazza’s single for a 5-1 Mets lead. San Francisco reliever Chad Zerbe entered the game and threw a called third strike past Floyd. Phillips grounded back to Zerbe for the inning’s final out and Trachsel shut down the Giants in the top of the fifth. With one out in the bottom half, Wigginton drew a walk and stole second. McEwing grounded out to Feliz and a double by Trachsel plated Wigginton. Zerbe then retired Cedeno on a ground ball to Alfonzo to close out the inning.

Following a scoreless sixth, Trachsel held the Giants to a single by Benito Santiago in the top of the seventh. Zerbe issued a walk to Perez to begin the bottom half. Wigginton followed with a double on which Perez went to third base. San Francisco’s Matt Herges got McEwing on a grounder to shortstop Neifi Perez that brought home Timo Perez. Trachsel hit a ground ball on which Feliz threw to catcher Santiago for an out at home on Wigginton. Cedeno drew a walk and Reyes singled to load the bases. Piazza followed with a single to score Trachsel and Cedeno, increasing the Mets’ lead to 9-1. Herges then got Floyd to line out to right fielder Cruz and end the inning.

Singles by pinch-hitter Jeffrey Hammonds and Cruz opened the top of the eighth. Feliz hit a ground ball to shortstop Reyes for a double play. Grissom singled to drive home Hammonds and moved to third base on a single by pinch-hitter Cody Ransom. Mets’ reliever Dan Wheeler fanned Alfonzo for the inning’s final out. Giants’ reliever Scott Eyre then limited the Mets to a single by Wigginton in a scoreless bottom half.

Andres Galarraga flied out to center fielder Timo Perez to start the top of the ninth inning. Yorvit Torrealba reached on an error by third baseman Wigginton and advanced to second base on a single by Neifi Perez. Wheeler then struck out Hammonds and retired Cruz on a fly ball to right fielder Raul Gonzalez to end the game. The Mets had a victory as Piazza led the way with five RBIs in his long-awaited return.