June 8, 2002: Mets Trump Tribe with 7-Run 7th

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Date: June 8, 2002
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 8
Indians: 6
Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza
Key play: Alfonzo’s two-run single, Piazza’s home run

The Mets faced the Indians on a Saturday night in Cleveland. The teams played the second game of a weekend interleague series. The Mets scored seven runs in the seventh inning and defeated the Tribe, 8-6.

Steve Trachsel and Cleveland starter Chuck Finley each pitched two scoreless innings to begin the game. In the top of the third, Roger Cedeno led off with a single to right field. Cedeno advanced to second base on Rey Ordonez’s ground out to third baseman Bill Selby. A single by Vance Wilson brought home Cedeno with the first run of the game. Finley then struck out Joe McEwing and retired Edgardo Alfonzo on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning.

Einar Diaz singled with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Matt Lawton lined out to shortstop Ordonez. Omar Vizquel followed with a home run to give the Indians a 2-1 lead. Ellis Burks grounded back to Trachsel for the third out. Finley then set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth.

Milton Bradley got a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth inning. A single by Ricky Gutierrez moved Bradley around to third base. Chris Magruder singled to score Bradley for the Tribe’s third run. Diaz hit a line drive to Ordonez for the inning’s final out. Finley and Trachsel then pitched scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth.

John Valentin opened the top of the seventh inning with a single to center field. Jay Payton singled and Cedeno drew a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Timo Perez hit a sacrifice fly against Cleveland reliever David Riske to drive home Valentin. Catcher Diaz threw out pinch-hitter Tony Tarasco on a grounder in front of the plate. Indians’ reliever Paul Shuey issued an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Jeromy Burnitz to reload the bases. Alfonzo singled to score Payton and Cedeno, putting the Mets ahead by a score of 4-3. Roberto Alomar hit a single to plate Burnitz with the fifth New York run. Mike Piazza followed with a homer for three more runs and an 8-3 Mets lead. Shuey then retired Valentin on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Lawton.

Gutierrez singled against Mets’ reliever Grant Roberts to begin the bottom of the seventh. Roberts struck out Magruder and yielded a single to Diaz. Lawton grounded out to second baseman Alomar to advance the runners to second and third base. Vizquel followed with his second homer of the game for three more Tribe runs. Roberts got Burks on a ground ball to third baseman Alfonzo to end the inning. Cleveland’s Chad Paronto hurled a perfect top of the eighth. Mets’ relievers Mark Guthrie and Scott Strickland combined to strike out the side in a scoreless bottom half. Paronto then shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth.

For New York, reliever Armando Benitez started the bottom of the ninth inning with strikeouts of Magruder and Diaz. Benitez followed up by retiring Lawton on a fly ball to center fielder Payton for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory over the Tribe on the strength of a seven-run seventh inning.