July 6, 2003: Comeback Gives Mets Sweep of Reds

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Date: July 6, 2003
Mets starter: Aaron Heilman
Mets: 7
Reds: 5
Winning pitcher: Jaime Cerda
Key player(s): Ty Wigginton, Timo Perez, Tony Clark, Jaime Cerda
Key play: Wigginton’s and Perez’s doubles, Clark’s home run

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets came from behind for a 7-5 win that completed a series sweep.

Leading off the top of the first inning, Timo Perez homered against Reds’ starter Paul Wilson for a quick 1-0 Mets lead. Joe McEwing was retired on a line drive to left fielder Adam Dunn. Jeromy Burnitz lined out to shortstop Barry Larkin and a walk to Cliff Floyd ensued. Wilson retired Ty Wigginton on a fly ball to right fielder Jose Gullen for the third out. The Mets’ Aaron Heilman then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Wilson gave up only a single to Rey Sanchez in the top of the second. Dunn hit a home run to begin the bottom of the inning. Kelly Stinnett grounded out to third baseman Wigginton and a walk to Juan Castro followed. Wilson laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Castro to second base. Heilman struck out Larkin to end the inning and Burnitz slugged a homer with two outs in the top of the third, putting the Mets back in front by a run. Wilson then threw a called third strike past Floyd to close out the inning.

Sean Casey drew a walk to open the bottom of the third. Casey moved to third base on Guillen’s double and came home on Austin Kearns’ ground out to shortstop Sanchez. Aaron Boone went down on strikes and Dunn was given an intentional walk. Stinnett and Castro hit back-to-back singles to score Guillen and Dunn, respectively, for a 4-2 Cincinnati lead. Heilman then struck out Wilson to finish off the inning.

Wilson retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom half, Casey slugged a home run to extend the Reds’ lead to 5-2. Heilman got Guillen to ground out to Wigginton and retired Kearns on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Burnitz. Wilson hurled a perfect top of the fifth and Dunn got a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano in the bottom half. Stinnett flied out to Burnitz and a single by Castro ensued. Feliciano then fanned Wilson for the inning’s third out.

Wilson and Feliciano each pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings. Pinch-hitter Raul Gonzalez singled against Reds’ reliever Todd Van Poppel to begin the top of the eighth. Gonzalez moved to second base on Van Poppel’s errant pickoff throw and scored on a single by Perez. McEwing flied out to Dunn and a walk to Burnitz followed. Cincinnati’s Scott Williamson got Floyd to ground out to first baseman Casey. Wigginton hit a double to drive home Perez and Burnitz, tying the game at 5-5. Williamson retired Jason Phillips on a fly ball to Dunn for the final out of the inning. Mets’ reliever Jaime Cerda then surrendered only a walk to Castro in the bottom half.

To open the top of the ninth, Tony Clark homered against Reds’ reliever Brian Reith to give the Mets a 6-5 lead. Sanchez grounded out to second baseman Castro and a double by Gonzalez ensued. Perez doubled to bring home Gonzalez with the seventh New York run of the game. McEwing flied out to center fielder Kearns and an intentional walk was given to Burnitz. Reith then retired pinch-hitter Jay Bell to close out the inning.

Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez got Casey on a ground ball to first baseman Clark to begin the bottom of the ninth. Guillen went down on strikes and Kearns singled. Benitez then retired Boone on a fly ball to center fielder Perez for the game’s last out. The Mets had a comeback victory and a sweep of the weekend series.

Notes

  • The win for Cerda was the first of his major league career and only one as a Met