July 1, 2003: Clark's Single Beats Expos in 9th
|Date: July 1, 2003|
|Mets starter: Aaron Heilman|
|Winning pitcher: Armando Benitez|
|Key player(s): Tony Clark, Jose Reyes|
|Key play: Clark's single|
The Mets and Expos played on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 30,084 watched a three-hour game that was decided on the final pitch. Tony Clark got a run-scoring single in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 7-6 win over Montreal.
Each team scored a run in the second inning. Jose Vidro homered off Mets' starter Aaron Heilman in the top half for the Expos. A double by Jose Reyes off Montreal's Sun-Woo Kim brought home Jason Phillips for the Mets in the bottom half. The Mets then loaded the bases in the third inning, but Kim got Reyes on a ground ball to end the inning.
Vidro doubled off Heilman to begin the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Wil Cordero singled to score Vidro and give the Expos a 2-1 lead. The Mets tied the game in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Rey Sanchez that brought home Heilman. Vance Wilson's two-out single off reliever T. J. Tucker in the fifth scored Ty Wigginton to put the Mets in front, 3-2.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Montreal's Ron Calloway homered off Heilman with two out in the seventh to tie the game. Phillips doubled off Expos' reliever Scott Stewart to score Cliff Floyd, putting the Mets ahead again in the bottom half. Later in the inning, Reyes singled to bring home Wigginton and Phillips, increasing the New York lead to 6-3. Stewart then retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Henry Mateo and Endy Chavez started the top of the eighth with singles off Mets' reliever Graeme Lloyd. After a force play grounder, Orlando Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Mateo with the fourth run for Montreal. Facing Armando Benitez, Vidro hit his second homer of the game for two more runs to tie the game at 6-6. The Mets were then shut down by the Expos' Julio Manon in the bottom of the inning.
Benitez struck out Cordero and Calloway to begin the top of the ninth inning. He followed up by getting Brian Schneider on a fly ball to right fielder Jeromy Burnitz to end the inning. The Mets then put two runners on base with two out against Manon in the bottom half.
Clark came up to pinch hit for Benitez with the winning run at second base. Tony delivered a single to right field that scored pinch-runner Joe McEwing. The Mets had an exciting victory to send the fans home happy.