June 10, 2002: Astacio Leads Six-Hitter Over Chisox

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Date: June 10, 2002
Mets starter: Pedro Astacio
Mets: 3
White Sox: 1
Winning pitcher: Pedro Astacio
Key player(s): Pedro Astacio, Timo Perez, Roberto Alomar
Key play: Alomar’s home run, Perez’s single and homer

The Mets faced the White Sox on a Monday night in Chicago. The teams played the first of three games in an interleague series. Pedro Astacio and a trio of relievers limited the Sox to six hits in a 3-1 Mets win.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Roberto Alomar homered against Chicago starter Gary Glover for the first run of the game. Mike Piazza was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Magglio Ordonez for the third out and Astacio pitched a perfect bottom half. Glover set down the Mets in order in the top of the second and Paul Konerko was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Lee took a called third strike and Aaron Rowand singled to left field. Astacio then got Mark Johnson to pop out to shortstop Rey Ordonez and end the inning.

Vance Wilson hit a one-out double in the top of the third. An ensuing single by Timo Perez scored Wilson for a 2-0 Mets lead. With Edgardo Alfonzo at bat, Perez was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Johnson to second baseman Ray Durham. Alfonzo grounded out to third baseman Jose Valentin to close out the inning and Astacio set down all three Chicago batters in the bottom half. The Mets failed to score after loading the bases against Glover in the top of the fourth. The White Sox were then retired in order by Astacio in the bottom of the inning.

Perez homered with one out in the top of the fifth to extend the Mets’ lead to three runs. Alfonzo singled and advanced to third base on a single by Alomar. Glover struck out Piazza and issued a walk to Jeromy Burnitz that loaded the bases. Kelly Wunsch came in to pitch for the Sox and fanned Mo Vaughn for the inning’s final out. Astacio yielded only a single to Lee in the bottom half and Chicago reliever Rocky Biddle retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Frank Thomas singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Astacio then got Magglio Ordonez on a grounder to first baseman Vaughn for the third out.

Biddle set down the Mets in order again in the top of the seventh. Leading off the bottom half, Konerko homered for the first White Sox run. Lee hit a single and Rowand followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Alomar. Astacio struck out Johnson and retired Royce Clayton on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Alfonzo. Biddle walked Piazza to begin the top of the eighth. Chicago’s Damaso Marte struck out Burnitz and surrendered a single to Vaughn on which Piazza moved to third base. With Roger Cedeno at the plate, Piazza was caught on a steal attempt and tagged out by Johnson. Marte then fanned Cedeno to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever David Weathers got Durham to line out to Rey Ordonez to open the bottom of the eighth. Valentin singled for the Sox’ sixth hit of the game and Scott Strickland came in to pitch for New York. Strickland struck out Thomas and retired Magglio Ordonez on a ground ball to Rey Ordonez to finish off the inning. Chicago’s Bob Howry then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

Konerko drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Lee and Rowand were retired on consecutive pop-ups to second baseman Joe McEwing. Benitez then struck out Johnson to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the interleague series.