June 23, 1999: Alfonzo and Olerud Sink Marlins

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Date: June 23, 1999
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 6
Marlins: 3
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, John Olerud, Al Leiter
Key play: Alfonzo’s homer and singles, Olerud’s double

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Edgardo Alfonzo and John Olerud combined for five runs batted in as the Mets defeated Florida, 6-3.

Alex Gonzalez singled against Mets’ starter Al Leiter with one out in the top of the first inning. Bruce Aven hit a single and Kevin Orie drew a walk to load the bases. Danny Bautista went down on strikes and Preston Wilson singled to score Gonzalez and Aven for a two-run Marlins lead. Leiter retired Kevin Millar on a pop-up to third baseman Robin Ventura for the third out. Florida starter Brian Meadows then pitched a perfect bottom half.

After a scoreless second, Leiter retired the side in order in the top of the third. Roger Cedeno got a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the inning. Cedeno stole second base and advanced to third on Rey Ordonez’s sacrifice bunt. Leiter grounded out to shortstop Gonzalez to score Cedeno and reduce the Fish lead to 2-1. Meadows then got Rickey Henderson to pop out to second baseman Luis Castillo and finish off the inning.

Leiter gave up only a single to Wilson in the top of the fourth. Leading off the bottom half, Alfonzo homered to tie the game at 2-2. Olerud was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Aven. Mike Piazza grounded out to Gonzalez and a single by Ventura followed. Brian McRae flied out to center fielder Wilson to end the inning and Castillo drew a one-out walk in the top of the fifth. Leiter then fanned Gonzalez and retired Aven on a ground ball to Ventura that closed out the inning.

Cedeno singled to begin the bottom of the fifth. Roger stole second base and moved to third on Ordonez’s ground out to Castillo. Leiter grounded out to Castillo and a walk to Henderson ensued. Alfonzo hit a single to bring home Cedeno and put the Mets ahead by a run. Olerud followed with a double that plated both Henderson and Alfonzo for a 5-2 New York lead. Meadows then retired Piazza on a pop-up to first baseman Millar to end the inning.

Leiter surrendered only a walk to Wilson in the top of the sixth. Meadows set down the side in order in the bottom half and Mike Redmond singled to begin the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Dave Berg drew a walk and Castillo hit a double play grounder to second baseman Alfonzo. Gonzalez singled to score Redmond and cut the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Leiter then struck out Aven to finish off the inning.

Pinch-hitter Bobby Bonilla doubled against Florida reliever Brian Edmondson with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Henderson was retired on a ground ball to third baseman Orie. Alfonzo singled to drive home pinch-runner Melvin Mora with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. On his own hit, Edgardo was out at second base via a relay throw by Millar to Gonzalez to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. The Marlins’ Matt Mantei then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Millar on a fly ball to center fielder McRae to start the top of the ninth. Redmond was retired on a grounder to first baseman Olerud. Franco then got pinch-hitter Mike Lowell to ground out to Ventura and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a solid victory.