July 15, 1999: Mets Emerge With 10-Inning Win
|Date: July 15, 1999|
|Mets starter: Al Leiter|
|Devil Rays: 7|
|Winning pitcher: Armando Benitez|
|Key player(s): Roger Cedeno, Benny Agbayani|
|Key play: Agbayani’s and Cedeno’s doubles in 10th|
The Mets faced the Devil Rays on a Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Florida. The teams played the first game of a series following the All-Star Break. In 10 innings, the Mets came away with an 8-7 win over Tampa Bay.
After a scoreless first, Devil Rays’ starter Rolando Arrojo set down the side in order in the top of the second. Bubba Trammell hit a home run against the Mets’ Al Leiter to lead off the bottom half. Paul Sorrento grounded out to third baseman Robin Ventura and a single by Kevin Stocker ensued. Randy Winn’s sacrifice bunt advanced Stocker to second base. Leiter then struck out Miguel Cairo to end the inning.
Arrojo yielded only a single to Rey Ordonez in the top of the third. Leiter pitched a perfect bottom half and Arrojo shut down the Mets again in the top of the fourth. John Flaherty drew a walk to open the bottom of the inning. Trammell flied out to right fielder Roger Cedeno and a two-run homer by Sorrento extended the Tampa Bay lead to 3-0. Stocker singled and Winn hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo. Leiter then got Cairo on a pop-up to catcher Mike Piazza for the inning’s final out.
Ventura walked to begin the top of the fifth. Brian McRae flied out to center fielder Winn and a walk to Matt Franco followed. Ordonez’s ground out to first baseman Fred McGriff moved the runners to second and third base. Cedeno reached on an error by third baseman Aaron Ledesma that allowed Ventura to score and Franco to go to third. Roger stole second and went to third on catcher Flaherty’s throwing error that brought home Franco with the Mets’ second run. Arrojo retired Rickey Henderson on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Stocker. Leiter then set down the Devil Rays 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
Tampa Bay reliever Esteban Yan gave up just a double to Piazza in the top of the sixth. Leiter hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and consecutive walks to McRae and Franco opened the top of the seventh. A sacrifice bunt by Ordonez advanced the runners to second and third base. Cedeno followed with a single that plated both McRae and Franco for a 4-3 Mets lead. With reliever Albie Lopez on the mound for the Devil Rays, Cedeno stole second. Henderson drew a walk and went to third on Alfonzo’s single that scored Cedeno. John Olerud hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Henderson and increase the New York lead to 6-3. Lopez got Piazza on a force play grounder to Stocker that closed out the inning. Leiter then retired the side on three straight outfield fly balls in the bottom half.
McRae got a one-out single against Tampa Bay’s Scott Aldred in the top of the eighth. Rays’ reliever Rick White struck out pinch-hitter Benny Agbayani and a walk to Ordonez ensued. Cedeno reached on an error by Stocker that brought home McRae and sent Ordonez to third base. Henderson walked and White retired Alfonzo on a pop-up to second baseman Cairo to end the inning. McGriff singled off the Mets’ Turk Wendell with one out in the bottom half. Flaherty hit a force play grounder back to Wendell and a single by Trammell followed. Sorrento singled against New York’s Dennis Cook to drive home Flaherty and cut the Mets’ lead to 7-4. Cook then got Stocker to fly out to center fielder McRae and finish off the inning.
Devil Rays’ reliever Bryan Rekar pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Cairo drew a walk against the Mets’ Armando Benitez with one out in the bottom half. Ledesma hit a double and Herbert Perry went down on strikes. McGriff singled to score Cairo and Ledesma, reducing the Mets’ lead to 7-6. Flaherty hit a single and Trammell singled to bring home McGriff with the tying run. Benitez then fanned Sorrento to end the inning and send the game onward.
Agbayani hit a one-out double against Tampa Bay reliever Norm Charlton in the top of the 10th. Charlton retired Ordonez on a fly ball to Winn. Cedeno doubled to drive home Agbayani and put the Mets back on top by a run. With Henderson at bat, Cedeno was caught stealing third base on catcher Mike DiFelice’s throw to Ledesma for the third out of the inning. To begin the bottom half, Benitez fanned both Stocker and Winn. Armando then retired Cairo on a fly ball to McRae that ended the game. The Mets had emerged with a victory in extra innings.