August 5, 2003: Thirteen Hits Wallop Astros

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Date: August 5, 2003
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 10
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Tony Clark, Cliff Floyd, Vance Wilson
Key play: Clark’s home run, Mets’ doubles in 3rd, Wilson’s home run

The Mets faced the Astros on a Tuesday night in Houston. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets collected a total of thirteen hits in a 10-1 win.

After a scoreless first inning, Tony Clark hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the second. Astros’ starter Ron Villone retired the next two batters to end the inning and the Mets’ Al Leiter issued a one-out walk to Brad Ausmus in the bottom half. Colin Porter went down on strikes and Villone followed with an infield single. Leiter then got Craig Biggio on a line drive to second baseman Joe McEwing for the inning’s final out.

Villone fanned both McEwing and Leiter to begin the top of the third. Roger Cedeno doubled and scored on a double by Jose Reyes. Cliff Floyd hit the Mets’ third straight double to bring home Reyes for a 3-0 New York lead. Villone threw a called third strike past Ty Wigginton for the third out and Jeff Bagwell drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the inning. Jeff Kent doubled to send Bagwell to third base. On Lance Berkman’s ensuing ground ball, third baseman Wigginton threw to catcher Vance Wilson for an out at home on Bagwell. Berkman went to second on the play as Kent came home with the first Houston run. Leiter then got Adam Everett on a called third strike to close out the inning.

Villone pitched a perfect top of the fourth. Ausmus hit a single to open the bottom half. With Porter at the plate, first baseman Clark took a pickoff throw from Leiter and threw to shortstop Reyes for an out on Ausmus. Porter grounded out to Clark and a double by Villone ensued. Leiter then walked Biggio and retired Morgan Ensberg on a pop-up to Reyes that finished off the inning.

McEwing got a leadoff single in the top of the fifth. Leiter singled and Cedeno followed with another single to drive home McEwing. Reyes singled against Astros’ reliever Mike Gallo to load the bases. Floyd followed with a sacrifice fly to score Leiter and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-1. Wigginton singled to drive home Cedeno and (after a double steal) an intentional walk to Clark loaded the bases once again. Raul Gonzalez hit a force play grounder to second baseman Kent to bring home Reyes. Wilson followed with a three-run homer that extended the New York lead to nine runs. For Houston, Kirk Saarloos came in to pitch and retired McEwing on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Ensberg. Leiter then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Saarloos and Leiter each set down the side in order in the sixth inning. Clark got a two-out single in the top of the seventh. Saarloos retired Gonzalez on a grounder to Ensberg to close out the inning and Mets’ reliever Dan Wheeler pitched a scoreless bottom half. Wilson singled against the Astros’ Ricky Stone to begin the top of the eighth. McEwing grounded to Ensberg for a double play and Jeff Duncan singled for the Mets’ thirteenth hit of the game. Stone threw a called third strike past Cedeno for the inning’s third out. Wheeler then yielded only a single to Berkman in the bottom half.

Houston reliever Dan Miceli hurled a scoreless top of the ninth. For New York, reliever Jaime Cerda retired Porter on a pop-up to McEwing to start the bottom of the inning. Eric Bruntlett grounded out to Reyes. Cerda then got pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun to pop out to Wigginton and end the game. The Mets had a solid victory to begin the series.