June 7, 2001: Shinjo's Homer in 9th Beats Phils

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Date: June 7, 2001
Mets starter: Dicky Gonzalez
Mets: 6
Phillies: 5
Winning pitcher: John Franco
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza, Tsuyoshi Shinjo
Key play: Mets’ three home runs

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Thursday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the finale of a three-game series at Veterans Stadium. Tsuyoshi Shinjo hit a home run in the ninth inning to complete a Mets comeback for a 6-5 win over the Phils.

Following a scoreless first inning, Philadelphia starter Bruce Chen shut down the Mets again in the top of the second. Travis Lee drew a walk against New York’s Dicky Gonzalez with one out in the bottom half. Pat Burrell singled and a wild pitch put Phillies runners on second and third base. Marlon Anderson grounded out to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo to drive home Lee for a 1-0 Phils lead. Gonzalez then issued an intentional walk to Johnny Estrada and got Chen on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Rey Ordonez.

Joe McEwing got a one-out single in the top of the third. Alfonzo hit a two-run homer and Piazza homered for a 3-1 Mets lead. Todd Zeile flied out to right fielder Bobby Abreu and a single by Robin Ventura ensued. Shinjo doubled and Ordonez was walked intentionally to load the bases. Chen retired Gonzalez on fly ball to center fielder Doug Glanville to end the inning and Jimmie Rollins singled with one out in the bottom half. Rollins moved to second on Abreu’s ground out to first baseman Zeile and scored on a single by Scott Rolen. Gonzalez then got Lee on a fly ball to left fielder Benny Agbayani to close out the inning.

After a scoreless fourth, the Mets failed to score against Chen in the top of the fifth. To begin the bottom half, pinch-hitter Brian Hunter drew a walk and moved to third base on a single by Glanville. Rollins tripled to drive home Hunter and Glanville, putting the Phillies ahead by a run. Abreu went down on strikes and Rolen hit a sacrifice fly to score Rollins for a 5-3 Philadelphia lead. Gonzalez retired Lee on an inning-ending pop-up to Ordonez and Phils’ reliever Vicente Padilla pitched a perfect top of the sixth. For the Mets, reliever Turk Wendell set down all three batters in the bottom of the inning.

Piazza reached on an error by shortstop Rollins to begin the top of the seventh. Zeile hit a single and Philadelphia reliever Rheal Cormier struck out Ventura. A wild pitch by the Phils’ Ricky Bottalico advanced the runners to second and third base. Shinjo grounded out to second baseman Tomas Perez to drive home Piazza. Bottalico got pinch-hitter Lenny Harris on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning. Wendell and Mets’ reliever Dennis Cook then combined to pitch a scoreless bottom half.

Pinch-hitter Darryl Hamilton drew a walk to lead off the top of the eighth inning. Agbayani singled and McEwing’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third base. Alfonzo hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Hamilton and tie the game at 5-5. Piazza was given an intentional walk and Zeile drew a walk that loaded the bases. Eddie Oropesa came in to pitch for the Phillies and threw a called third strike past Ventura to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever John Franco then struck out the side in a scoreless bottom half.

Leading off against the Phils’ Jose Mesa in the top of the ninth, Shinjo homered to give the Mets a one-run lead. Desi Relaford was called out on strikes and Mark Johnson singled to left field. Agbayani hit a single to send Johnson to third base and pinch-runner Timo Perez was caught on a pickoff play. Mesa then retired McEwing on a grounder to third baseman Rolen to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez retired Estrada on a foul pop-up to third baseman Ventura to start the bottom of the ninth. Tomas Perez was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Shinjo. Benitez then got Glanville to line out to shortstop Relaford and end the game. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory to close out the series in Philadelphia.