July 11, 2002: Eight-Run 8th Puts Away Phillies
|Date: July 11, 2002|
|Mets starter: Al Leiter|
|Winning pitcher: Mark Guthrie|
|Key player(s): Roberto Alomar, Mike Piazza, Timo Perez|
|Key play: Alomar’s RBI double, Piazza’s 2-run triple, Perez’s 3-run double|
The Mets and Phillies began a four-game series on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams resumed the season after the All-Star break in front of 32,026 fans. The Mets scored eight runs in the eighth inning for a 9-1 victory over Philadelphia.
Mets’ starter Al Leiter shut down the Phils on six hits through the first seven innings. He scattered five singles and a seventh-inning double to Tomas Perez while striking out eight batters. Meanwhile, the Mets grabbed a 1-0 lead when Roberto Alomar doubled and came around to score on Mike Piazza’s single in the bottom of the first. Phillies’ starter Randy Wolf then gave up only two walks and a single to Roger Cedeno in keeping the Mets scoreless from the second inning to the seventh.
Pat Burrell singled off Leiter to open the top of the eighth inning. An ensuing double by Scott Rolen put Phillie runners at second and third with none out. Against Mets’ reliever Scott Strickland, Mike Lieberthal hit an infield single on which Burrell scored to tie the game. Rolen (who stayed at second on Lieberthal’s hit) moved to third on reliever Mark Guthrie’s wild pitch. Guthrie walked Travis Lee to load the bases. He then got Perez to hit a ground ball on which third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo started an inning-ending double play.
Phils’ reliever Rheal Cormier walked pinch-hitter John Valentin to begin the bottom of the eighth. Alomar followed with a double that scored pinch-runner Timo Perez to put the Mets ahead. Cedeno singled and Cormier was replaced on the mound by Carlos Silva. Piazza greeted Silva with a triple to bring home Alomar and Cedeno for a 4-1 Mets lead. Mo Vaughn’s ensuing single plated Piazza and singles by Alfonzo and Jay Payton loaded the bases. Silva was then removed in favor of reliever Joe Roa.
Roa recorded infield flies for the first two outs of the eighth inning. He then surrendered a double to Timo Perez that brought home all three runners. Timo scored on Alomar’s single for the Mets’ eighth run of the inning. Cedeno then grounded into a force play for the third out.
Jaime Cerda pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning to end the game. The Mets had a win to start the official second half of the season. The triumph brought the team’s record to the .500 mark at 44-44 on the year.