March 30, 2000: Agbayani Slams Cubs in Japan

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Date: March 30, 2000
Mets starter: Rick Reed
Mets: 5
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Dennis Cook
Key player(s): Benny Agbayani
Key play: Agbayani's grand slam in 11th

The Mets and Cubs played the second of a two-game, season-opening series at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. After losing the first game, the Mets were looking for a split of the series. They came up with a 5-1 win on Benny Agbayani's grand slam home run in the 11th inning.

Rick Reed and Chicago's Kyle Farnsworth started the game with four scoreless innings each. In the top of the fifth, the Mets (in the role of the visiting team) got a run on Rickey Henderson's sacrifice fly to score Todd Zeile. The Cubs tied it in the bottom of the inning when Joe Girardi crossed the plate on Eric Young's double play grounder.

The Cubs had two runners on base with one out against Mets' reliever John Franco in the bottom of the ninth. Franco then struck out pinch-hitter Cole Liniak and got Girardi to ground out. The game was headed to extra innings tied at 1-1.

In the top half of the tenth, Cubs' reliever Rick Aguilera retired the Mets in order. Turk Wendell walked Chicago pinch-hitter Jeff Reed to start the bottom half. Wendell then retired two batters and issued an intentional walk to Sammy Sosa. Dennis Cook came in to relieve and walked Mark Grace to load the bases before striking out Henry Rodriguez to end Chicago's scoring chance.

Danny Young came on to pitch for the Cubs in the eleventh. Making his major league debut, Young retired the first two Met batters of the inning. He then gave up a single to Zeile and walked Ordonez and Melvin Mora to load the bases. Agbayani came up to pinch-hit for Cook and walloped a grand slam to put the Mets ahead by four runs. Jay Payton followed with a double before Young retired Edgardo Alfonzo on a fly ball to center field.

Armando Benitez pitched a perfect bottom of the eleventh to seal the Mets' victory. The teams had a split of the two games in Japan and headed back to the United States.