June 14, 2000: Mets Outlast Cubs in Slugfest

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Date: June 14, 2000
Mets starter: Mike Hampton
Mets: 10
Cubs: 8
Winning pitcher: Glendon Rusch
Key player(s): Kurt Abbott, Melvin Mora, Benny Agbayani, Mike Piazza
Key play: Abbott’s and Mora’s doubles, Agbayani’s and Piazza’s home runs

The Mets and Cubs faced each other on a Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. In a high-scoring battle, the Mets came away with a 10-8 win over Chicago.

Cubs’ starter Scott Downs pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Joe Girardi drew a walk against the Mets’ Mike Hampton. Girardi moved to second base on Sammy Sosa’s single and scored on a single by Mark Grace. Hampton struck out Glenallen Hill and Damon Buford to close out the inning and Robin Ventura homered to lead off the top of the second. Jay Payton hit a single and Benny Agbayani fouled out to first baseman Grace. Joe McEwing was retired on a line drive to right fielder Sosa. Downs then got Hampton to foul out to Grace and end the inning.

Following a two-hour rain delay, Pat Mahomes came in to pitch for the Mets in the bottom of the second. With one out in the inning, Augie Ojeda hit his first major league home run to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Mahomes struck out pinch-hitter Kerry Wood and issued a walk to Eric Young. Girardi singled and Sosa was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Payton. Chicago reliever Daniel Garibay set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Mahomes then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Todd Zeile hit a single to begin the top of the fourth inning. Ventura reached on second baseman Young’s error and a fly out by Payton advanced Zeile to third base. Agbayani hit a sacrifice fly to score Zeile and tie the game. Garibay then retired McEwing on a ground ball to Young for the inning’s final out. The game was then held up by rain once again for fifty minutes.

After the rain delay, Chad Meyers opened the bottom of the fourth with a double against Mets’ reliever Glendon Rusch. Ojeda drew a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Garibay advanced the runners to second and third. Young followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Meyers. An ensuing single by Girardi scored Ojeda for a two-run Chicago lead. Sosa singled and Rusch got Grace on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Kurt Abbott. With one out in the top of the fifth, Melvin Mora singled to right field. Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer to retie the game at 4-4. Zeile doubled and Ventura grounded out to Grace to end the inning. Rusch then set down all three Cubs batters in the bottom half.

Payton hit a double to begin the top of the sixth. Agbayani popped out to Grace and an error by third baseman Meyers allowed pinch-hitter Todd Pratt to reach base. Abbott doubled to bring home Payton with the go-ahead run and Garibay was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Matt Karchner. Mora greeted Karchner with a double that drove home Pratt and Abbott. A wild pitch moved Mora to third and Derek Bell grounded out to shortstop Ojeda. Piazza singled to plate Mora for an 8-4 Mets lead. Zeile followed with a double and Ventura drew a walk to load the bases. Karchner got Payton to hit a force play grounder to Meyers that ended the inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Young tripled against Mets’ reliever Turk Wendell. On his own hit, Young was caught in a rundown and tagged by Wendell for the third out.

Agbayani hit a home run to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Karchner retired the next three Mets hitters and Girardi singled to open the bottom half. Sosa hit a force play grounder to third baseman Ventura and advanced to third on a double by Grace. Hill hit a single to drive home Sosa. Buford flied out to left fielder Agbayani and a walk to pinch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. loaded the bases. Ojeda hit a single against Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook that scored Grace and Hill. Willie Greene singled to bring home Matthews and cut the Mets’ lead to 9-8. Young drew a walk to reload the bases. John Franco then came in to pitch for the Mets and got Girardi to ground out to shortstop Mora and end the inning.

Cubs’ reliever Tim Worrell pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Franco and Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez combined for a perfect bottom of the inning. Leading off the top of the ninth, Agbayani hit his second homer for the Mets’ tenth run of the game. Worrell set down the next three batters and Buford fouled out to Ventura to begin the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Brant Brown was called out on strikes. Benitez then struck out pinch-hitter Henry Rodriguez to end the game. The Mets had emerged with a victory on a long, rainy day at Wrigley.