July 18, 2001: Shinjo's Double in 11th Beats Marlins

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Date: July 18, 2001
Mets starter: Kevin Appier
Mets: 4
Marlins: 3
Winning pitcher: Turk Wendell
Key player(s): Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Desi Relaford, Joe McEwing
Key play: Gonzalez’s error, Shinjo’s double

The Mets and Marlins faced each other on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played an extra-inning game that lasted four hours and three minutes. In the 11th, Tsuyoshi Shinjo hit a run-scoring double to give the Mets a 4-3 win over Florida.

Alex Gonzalez singled with one out in the top of the first inning. Cliff Floyd hit a double and Mike Lowell followed with a sacrifice fly that drove home Gonzalez. Mets’ starter Kevin Appier struck out Kevin Millar to end the inning and Joe McEwing drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. Desi Relaford singled to send McEwing to third base and Shinjo fouled out to third baseman Lowell. Mike Piazza was retired on a foul pop-up to first baseman Millar and a single by Mark Johnson scored McEwing with the tying run. Marlins’ starter Chuck Smith then retired Todd Zeile on a ground ball to shortstop Gonzalez for the third out.

Following scoreless second and third innings, Appier set down the side in order in the top of the fourth. Zeile singled to open the bottom of the inning. Jay Payton flied out to center fielder Eric Owens and a double by Rey Ordonez advanced Zeile to third base. Appier followed with a grounder on which Zeile and Ordonez were tagged while standing on third. Both runners were called out on the play, but Zeile was later allowed to stay after some discussion. Florida manager Tony Perez argued the reversal of the call and was ejected by umpire Kerwin Danley. McEwing hit a double that plated Zeile and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Smith then struck out Relaford to finish off the inning.

Appier and Smith each pitched scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. With one out in the top of the seventh, Lowell drew a walk and advanced to third base on a single by Millar. John Mabry singled to bring home Lowell and tie the game. Charles Johnson reached on an error by third baseman McEwing to load the bases and Andy Fox walked to force home Millar for a 3-2 Marlins lead. Mets’ reliever Rick White threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Ryan Thompson and retired Owens on a ground ball back to the mound to close out the inning. Florida relievers Ricky Bones and Armando Almanza then combined for a scoreless bottom half.

White set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Fish reliever Braden Looper hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and the Mets’ Donne Wall struck out all three batters in the top of the ninth. Relaford got a one-out single against the Marlins’ Antonio Alfonseca in the bottom half. Shinjo was hit by a pitch and Piazza reached on Gonzalez’s error that allowed Relaford to score (tying the game) and Shinjo to go to third base. On Benny Agbayani’s ensuing grounder, Shinjo was out at home via a throw by Gonzalez to catcher Charles Johnson. Alfonseca then retired Zeile on a ground ball to Lowell to end the inning and send the game onward.

Derrek Lee and Owens got back-to-back singles against Wall with one out in the top of the 10th. Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell struck out Gonzalez and issued a walk to Floyd that loaded the bases. Lowell flied out to right fielder Shinjo to finish off the inning and Alfonseca retired the Mets on three consecutive grounders to Gonzalez in the bottom half. Wendell then shut down the Fish in the top of the 11th.

McEwing singled against Florida reliever Vladimir Nunez to open the bottom of the 11th inning. Relaford was retired on a fly ball to Owens. Shinjo came to bat and delivered a double that drove home McEwing to bring the game to an end. The Mets had an exciting extra-inning victory.