June 1, 2003: Eight-Run 6th Lifts Mets Over Braves

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Date: June 1, 2003
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 10
Braves: 4
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Jeromy Burnitz, Vance Wilson, Rey Sanchez
Key play: Burnitz’s double and homer, Wilson’s and Sanchez’s RBI singles

The Mets faced the Braves on a Sunday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored eight runs in the sixth inning to come away with a 10-4 win over Atlanta.

Marcus Giles drew a one-out walk in the top of the first inning. Giles stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch by Mets’ starter Al Leiter. Gary Sheffield singled to score Giles and advanced to second on Julio Franco’s ground out to third baseman Ty Wigginton. A single by Mark DeRosa drove home Sheffield for the second Braves run. Vinny Castilla hit into a force play to end the inning. Atlanta starter Horacio Ramirez then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Leiter shut down the Braves in the top of the second. To begin the bottom of the inning, Cliff Floyd drew a walk and moved to third base on a single by Jeromy Burnitz. Ramirez walked Jason Phillips to load the bases and Tsuyoshi Shinjo lined out to third baseman Castilla. On an attempt for a double play, second baseman Giles made an error that allowed Floyd to score. Vance Wilson hit a double that plated Burnitz with the tying run. Phillips was out at home after a failed attempt of a squeeze bunt. Ramirez then struck out Leiter to end the inning.

Following a scoreless third, Darren Bragg singled with one out in the top of the fourth. Ramirez’s sacrifice bunt moved Bragg to second base. Rafael Furcal hit a single to drive home Bragg for a 3-2 Braves lead. Giles lined out to shortstop Rey Sanchez to end the inning. Ramirez shut down the Mets in the bottom half and Sheffield singled to open the top of the fifth. Catcher Wilson threw out Sheffield on a steal attempt and Julio Franco flied out to right fielder Burnitz. DeRosa homered for the fourth Atlanta run and Castilla hit an inning-ending ground ball to Wigginton. The Mets were then held without a run by Ramirez in the bottom half.

Leiter pitched a scoreless top of the sixth. Burnitz and Phillips hit back-to-back doubles for a run to start the bottom of the inning. With one out, Wilson singled off Braves’ reliever Kevin Gryboski to score pinch-runner Marco Scutaro and tie the game at 4-4. Facing reliever Ray King, Joe McEwing got a two-out single to send Wilson to second. Sanchez hit a single that plated Wilson (on which McEwing went to third via a throw) and put the Mets in front. Sanchez stole second base and Wigginton hit a two-run single off reliever Darren Holmes to stretch the Mets’ lead to 7-4. Floyd followed with a single to left field. Burnitz hit a three-run homer to give the Mets eight runs in the inning. Holmes then got Scutaro to fly out to right fielder Sheffield for the third out.

Mets’ reliever David Weathers shut down the Braves in the top of the seventh inning. Atlanta’s Trey Hodges pitched a perfect bottom half. Weathers retired the side in order in the top of the eighth and Braves’ reliever Jung Bong pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning. To begin the top of the ninth, the Mets’ Graeme Lloyd retired pinch-hitter Matt Franco on a ground ball to Wigginton. Furcal grounded out to second baseman McEwing. Lloyd then got Giles to ground out to Sanchez and end the game. The Mets had a victory to close out the series.