June 18, 2004: Cameron Homers in 9th

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Date: June 18, 2004
Mets starter: Tom Glavine
Mets: 3
Tigers: 2
Winning pitcher: Braden Looper
Key player(s): Tom Glavine, Mike Cameron
Key play: Glavine’s single, Cameron’s home run

The Mets faced the Tigers on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game interleague series. Mike Cameron hit a home run in the ninth inning for a 3-2 Mets win over Detroit.

Brandon Inge singled against Mets’ starter Tom Glavine with one out in the top of the first. Ivan Rodriguez hit a single and Dmitri Young followed with a force play ground ball to shortstop Kazuo Matsui. Rondell White doubled to score Inge with the first run of the game. On the play, Young was out at home via a relay throw by Matsui to catcher Mike Piazza to end the inning. For the Tigers, Nate Robertson gave up just a single to Piazza in the bottom half.

Glavine and Robertson each pitched scoreless second and third innings. Leading off the top of the fourth, Young hit a home run for a 2-0 Detroit lead. White and Craig Monroe were retired on infield ground balls and Omar Infante drew a walk. Infante stole second base and Glavine struck out Jason Smith to finish off the inning. Robertson then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Glavine hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Ty Wigginton singled to open the bottom of the inning. Cameron got a bunt single and Jason Phillips’ ground out to third baseman Inge advanced the runners to second and third base. Glavine singled to drive home Wigginton and Cameron, tying the game at 2-2. Robertson then got Matsui on a fly ball to right fielder Monroe for the inning’s final out.

The Tigers failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the sixth. Robertson pitched a scoreless bottom half and Glavine surrendered only a walk to Inge in the top of the seventh. Robertson hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Mets’ reliever Ricky Bottalico hit Young with a pitch to begin the top of the eighth. White went down on strikes and Bottalico got Monroe to hit a ground ball to third baseman Todd Zeile for an inning-ending double play. Robertson set down the first two Mets batters in the bottom half. Zeile and Piazza followed with consecutive singles against Detroit reliever Al Levine. Jamie Walker then came in to pitch for the Tigers and fanned pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd to close out the inning.

Infante singled against Mets’ reliever Braden Looper to lead off the top of the ninth. Smith’s sacrifice bunt moved Infante to second base and Bobby Higginson reached on an error by second baseman Wigginton. A sacrifice bunt by Alex Sanchez advanced Higginson to second. Looper then retired pinch-hitter Carlos Guillen on a fly ball to center fielder Cameron for the third out of the inning.

Detroit reliever Danny Patterson retired Richard Hidalgo on a grounder to second baseman Infante to start the bottom of the ninth. Wigginton lined out to third baseman Smith (who had shifted from shortstop to replace Inge) and Cameron came up to bat. Mike slugged a home run that brought the game to an end. The Mets had an exciting victory to begin the series.