June 26, 2004: Six Runs in 4th Rout Yanks

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Date: June 26, 2004
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 9
Yankees: 3
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Jason Phillips, Jose Reyes, Kazuo Matsui
Key play: Phillips’ double, Reyes’ single, Matsui’s single

The Mets and Yankees faced each other on a Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. The teams began a Subway Series after being rained out the previous night. The Mets scored six runs in the fourth inning and came away with a 9-3 win over their cross-city rivals.

After a scoreless first inning, Yankees’ starter Brad Halsey walked Richard Hidalgo and Mike Cameron to begin the top of the second. Ty Wigginton grounded out to first baseman Jason Giambi to advance the runners to second and third base. Hidalgo came home and Cameron moved to third on an errant pickoff throw by catcher Jorge Posada. Todd Zeile drew a walk and Jason Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Cameron. Halsey got Jose Reyes to hit into a force play and end the inning. Mets’ starter Al Leiter then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Halsey shut down the Mets in the top of the third inning. Bernie Williams doubled to lead off the bottom half. Derek Jeter popped out to second baseman Reyes and a fly ball by Alex Rodriguez was caught by center fielder Cameron. Gary Sheffield followed with a two-run homer to tie the game. Leiter then got Giambi on an inning-ending line drive to shortstop Kazuo Matsui.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Wigginton singled and stole second base. Zeile drew a walk and a double by Phillips brought home Wigginton for a 3-2 Mets lead. Reyes hit a single to drive home Zeile and send Phillips to third. Jose stole second and Kazuo Matsui singled to score Phillips and Reyes. With Tanyon Sturtze on the mound for the Yanks, Kazuo stole second and came home on Mike Piazza’s single. Piazza moved to second on Cliff Floyd’s ground out to Giambi and a single by Hidalgo plated Piazza to extend the Mets’ lead to 8-2. Cameron then popped out to Posada to end the inning.

Hideki Matsui (Kazuo’s brother) homered for the Yankees’ third run with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Leiter retired Ruben Sierra on a ground ball to third baseman Wigginton and Miguel Cairo on a pop-up to Kazuo. Leiter and Sturtze each pitched one-hit scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. Floyd hit a home run to lead off the top of the seventh. Sturtze completed the inning with no further scoring and the Yanks had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Ricky Bottalico then got Rodriguez to hit a grounder to Kazuo for a double play that ended the inning.

Sturtze and Yankees’ reliever Felix Heredia combined for a scoreless top of the eighth. Bottalico shut down the Bronxmen in the bottom of the inning. Hidalgo singled to start the top of the ninth. Cameron popped out to Jeter and a strikeout of Wigginton followed. Zeile drew a walk to move Hidalgo to second base. Heredia then retired Phillips on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Cairo.

Mets’ reliever Jose Parra got pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton on a grounder to first baseman Zeile to open the bottom of the ninth. Williams hit a single and Jeter went down on strikes. Parra then retired Rodriguez on a line drive to Zeile for the final out of the game. The Mets had an impressive victory to start the intra-city series.