June 2, 2001: Leiter Leads Six-Hitter Over Marlins

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Date: June 2, 2001
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 7
Marlins: 1
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Al Leiter, Robin Ventura, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Mike Piazza
Key play: Ventura’s and Piazza’s home runs, Shinjo’s double

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Saturday night in Miami. The teams played the third of four games in a weekend series. Al Leiter led the way in a six-hitter as the Mets defeated Florida, 7-1.

Mike Piazza drew a walk with two outs in the top of the first inning. Robin Ventura hit a two-run homer and Todd Zeile reached on an error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Marlins’ starter Chuck Smith retired Tsuyoshi Shinjo on a pop-up to second baseman Dave Berg for the third out. Leiter then set down the Fish in order in the bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Zeile was hit by a pitch with one out in the top of the fourth. Shinjo flied out to center fielder Preston Wilson and a double by Darryl Hamilton ensued. Rey Ordonez was walked intentionally to load the bases and Smith retired Leiter on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Derrek Lee. Berg hit a single to open the bottom half. Eric Owens lined out to shortstop Ordonez, who threw to first baseman Zeile for a double play. Leiter then got Kevin Millar to foul out to Zeile and finish off the inning.

Timo Perez got a bunt single to begin the top of the fifth. Desi Relaford’s sacrifice bunt moved Perez to second base and Piazza went down on strikes. Ventura was given in intentional walk and Zeile drew a walk that loaded the bases. Shinjo hit a double to drive home Perez and Ventura, increasing the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Hamilton was walked intentionally to reload the bases and Smith got Ordonez on a ground ball to second baseman Berg for the inning’s final out. With two outs in the bottom half, Charles Johnson doubled and Lee followed with a walk. Leiter then struck out Gonzalez to end the inning.

Smith retired the Mets in order in the top of the sixth. Leiter gave up just a single to Berg in the bottom half and Piazza homered against Florida reliever Dan Miceli to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Ventura was called out on strikes and Zeile grounded out to Gonzalez. Shinjo singled and advanced to third base on a single by Hamilton. Miceli got Ordonez to hit a force play grounder to Gonzalez that closed out the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Mike Lowell hit a homer off Leiter for the Marlins’ first run of the game. Johnson singled and Mets’ reliever Rick White got Lee on a force play grounder to third baseman Ventura. White then got Gonzalez to fly out to right fielder Perez and end the inning.

Pinch-hitter Lenny Harris singled to open the top of the eighth. Perez was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Millar. Harris stole second base and came home on a double by Relaford. Piazza followed with a double that drove home Relaford with the Mets’ seventh run. Ventura was given an intentional walk and Zeile flied out to Millar. Miceli retired Shinjo on a foul fly ball to Millar for the inning’s final out. Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook then retired all three Fish batters on fly balls to Perez in the bottom half.

Marlins’ reliever Braden Looper pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Millar grounded out to Ventura to open the bottom of the inning. Wilson flied out to center fielder Shinjo and a single by Lowell ensued. Cook then got Johnson to fly out to Perez and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on a three-man six-hitter.