August 7, 2000: Bell and Abbott Hit Clutch Home Runs
|Date: August 7, 2000|
|Mets starter: Mike Hampton|
|Winning pitcher: Armando Benitez|
|Key player(s): Mike Hampton, Derek Bell, Kurt Abbott|
|Key play: Bell’s homer in 9th, Abbott’s homer in 11th|
Following a scoreless first inning, Benny Agbayani and Jay Payton drew one-out walks in the top of the second. Astros’ starter Wade Miller retired Todd Pratt on a fly ball to Moises Alou. A single by Mike Hampton scored Agbayani with the first run of the game. Miller struck out Mike Bordick to end the inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Tony Eusebio singled to bring home Alou from second base and tie the game, 1-1. Hampton then threw a called third strike past Tim Bogar for the third out.
Miller set down Bell and Edgardo Alfonzo on infield ground balls to open the top of the third inning. Robin Ventura homered to give the Mets a one-run lead. Todd Zeile grounded out to shortstop Bogar for the final out of the inning and Hampton shut down Houston despite two singles in the bottom half. Agbayani doubled to lead off the top of the fourth and moved to third on Payton’s single. Pratt popped out to second baseman Julio Lugo. Hampton got an infield single that scored Agbayani. On third baseman Chris Truby’s error, Mike went to second as Payton came around to the plate for the Mets’ fourth run. Miller then struck out Bordick and retired Bell on a grounder to Truby to end the inning.
After Hampton pitched a scoreless bottom of the fourth, Miller shut down the Mets in the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom half, Lugo drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a single by Lance Berkman. Jeff Bagwell singled to score Lugo for the second Houston run. Richard Hidalgo flied out to left fielder Agbayani and a walk to Alou loaded the bases. Truby hit a double to score three runs and put the Astros ahead, 5-4. Hampton then got Eusebio on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Ventura.
In the top of the sixth, Miller and Houston reliever Joe Slusarski teamed up to shut down the Mets. Hampton pitched a scoreless bottom half and Slusarski held the Mets without a run in the top of the seventh. The Astros had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Hampton retired pinch-hitter Matt Mieske on a pop-up to shortstop Bordick for the third out. Houston’s Marc Valdes pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell then held the Astros scoreless in the bottom half.
To start the top of the ninth inning, Octavio Dotel retired pinch-hitter Lenny Harris on a fly ball to left fielder Hidalgo. Dotel followed up by throwing a called third strike past Bordick. With the Mets one out away from defeat, Bell hit a home run to tie the game. Alfonzo flied out to Hidalgo to end the inning. The Astros put runners at second and third with two outs against Mets’ reliever John Franco in the bottom half. Franco then got pinch-hitter Daryle Ward on a grounder to second baseman Abbott to send the game into extra innings.
Houston reliever Jason Green struck out Ventura to begin the top of the 10th. Zeile drew a walk and Agbayani was hit by a pitch. Payton hit a ground ball to third baseman Bill Spiers for a force out on Agbayani. Second baseman Lugo’s throw got past first baseman Bagwell in an attempt for a double play. Bagwell recovered and threw to catcher Eusebio for an out at home on Zeile that ended the inning. Bogar and Spiers got back-to-back singles off Franco with one out in the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez then fanned Lugo and Glen Barker for the final outs of the inning.
With one out in the top of the 11th, Abbott hit a solo homer to put the Mets in front by a run. Green retired Bordick on a grounder to Bogar and issued a walk to Bell. Houston’s Wayne Franklin came in to pitch and Bell stole second. Franklin then retired pinch-hitter Matt Franco on a called third strike for the third out.
Bagwell walked to open the bottom of the 11th inning. Hidalgo hit a ground ball to Bordick for a double play. Benitez then got Alou to fly out to right fielder Bell and end the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory on a pair of late homers.