July 22, 2002: Scutaro's Triple Lifts Mets Over Expos

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Date: July 22, 2002
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 5
Expos: 2
Winning pitcher: David Weathers
Key player(s): Jay Payton, Marco Scutaro, Mo Vaughn
Key play: Payton’s home run, Scutaro’s triple, Vaughn’s home run

The Mets faced the Expos on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series in front of 23,655 fans on hand. The Mets scored three runs late in the game for a 5-2 win over Montreal.

After a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Steve Trachsel shut down the Expos again in the top of the second. Jay Payton led off the bottom half with a home run. Montreal’s Tomo Ohka retired the next three batters and Trachsel pitched a perfect top of the third inning. The Mets failed to score against Ohka in the bottom half. Trachsel then limited the Expos to a single by Vladimir Guerrero in a scoreless top of the fourth.

Mo Vaughn doubled to open the bottom of the fourth inning. Edgardo Alfonzo flied out to right fielder Guerrero to advance Vaughn to third base. Mo came home on an ensuing sacrifice fly by Payton. Roger Cedeno singled and Rey Ordonez hit into an inning-ending force play. In the top of the fifth, Orlando Cabrera got a one-out single and Michael Barrett homered to tie the game at 2-2. Trachsel struck out Ohka and walked Brad Wilkerson. Jose Macias was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Timo Perez to end the inning. Ohka then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

The Expos failed to score after loading the bases against Mets’ reliever David Weathers in the top of the sixth inning. Ohka retired the Mets in order in the bottom half. Weathers shut down Montreal in the top of the seventh and Tony Tarasco singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Ordonez followed with a single to left field. Pinch-hitter Marco Scutaro tripled to bring home Tarasco and Ordonez, giving the Mets a 4-2 lead. Expos’ reliever Joey Eischen came in to pitch and walked Roberto Alomar. With Perez at bat, Scutaro was caught stealing home as Alomar advanced to second base. Perez hit a single on which Alomar stayed at second. Montreal reliever Jim Brower then got Mike Piazza to hit into a force play that ended the inning.

Mets’ reliever Mark Guthrie pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Vaughn homered for the Mets’ fifth run to begin the bottom of the inning. Brower followed up with strikeouts of Alfonzo and Payton. Tarasco doubled for the Mets’ twelfth hit of the game. Ordonez then hit a ground ball to first baseman Andres Galarraga for the third out.

To open the top of the ninth inning, Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez struck out Cabrera. Pinch-hitter Troy O’Leary fanned for the second out. Benitez then retired pinch-hitter Wil Cordero on a grounder to shortstop Ordonez to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the three-game series.