May 14, 2000: Hampton and Piazza Propel Mets Past Fish

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Date: May 14, 2000
Mets starter: Mike Hampton
Mets: 5
Marlins: 1
Winning pitcher: Mike Hampton
Key player(s): Mike Hampton, Mike Piazza, Joe McEwing
Key play: McEwing’s double, Piazza’s grand slam

The Mets and Marlins faced each other on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets prevented a Florida sweep with a 5-1 win over the Fish.

Three consecutive Marlins singles loaded the bases to open the top of the first inning. Mets’ starter Mike Hampton fanned Preston Wilson for the first out. Derrek Lee hit a ground ball to third baseman Robin Ventura for an inning-ending double play. Florida’s Brad Penny held the Mets to a single by Derek Bell in a scoreless bottom half. Hampton and Penny followed up with three perfect innings pitched. Danny Bautista singled to lead off the top of the fifth. Hampton retired the next three batters and Penny set down the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning. Hampton then hurled a perfect top of the sixth.

Penny struck out Kurt Abbott to begin the bottom of the sixth inning. Hampton followed with a bunt single. An ensuing double by Joe McEwing scored Hampton with the first run of the game. On the play, McEwing advanced to third base via an error by left fielder Bautista. Bell drew a walk and stole second base. An intentional walk to Edgardo Alfonzo loaded the bases. Mike Piazza hit a grand slam to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Penny retired the next two batters to close out the inning. Hampton set down the Marlins 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Penny then retired all three New York hitters in the bottom half.

For the Fish, Alex Gonzalez and Mike Redmond started the top of the eighth inning with back-to-back singles. Pinch-hitter Brant Brown singled to drive home Gonzalez from second base. Mark Kotsay popped out to shortstop Abbott and a fly ball by Chris Clapinski was caught by left fielder McEwing. Hampton got Kevin Millar for a force play grounder to Abbott for the third out of the inning. Florida reliever Vic Darensbourg then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Wilson grounded out to second baseman Alfonzo to begin the top of the ninth. Lee went down on strikes and Bautista singled to right field. Hampton then threw a called third strike past Gonzalez for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to end the series and go one game above the .500 mark (20-19) on the season.