May 17, 2002: Mets Turn Triple Play, Rout Padres

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Date: May 17, 2002
Mets starter: Steve Trachsel
Mets: 13
Padres: 4
Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel
Key player(s): Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, Rey Ordonez
Key play: Mets’ triple play, Piazza’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Padres on a Friday night in San Diego. The teams played the second of four games in a weekend series. The Mets pulled off a triple play and extended their winning streak to four games with a 13-4 victory.

Padres’ starter Jason Middlebrook pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Leading off the bottom half, D’Angelo Jimenez homered against the Mets’ Steve Trachsel for the first run of the game. Trachsel set down the next three San Diego batters and Edgardo Alfonzo hit a double to begin the top of the second. Jeromy Burnitz singled to drive home Alfonzo and tie the game at 1-1. Timo Perez lined out to second baseman Jimenez, who threw to first baseman Mark Sweeney to complete a double play. Rey Ordonez reached on an error by shortstop Deivi Cruz and an error by third baseman Sean Burroughs allowed Trachsel to get on base. Middlebrook retired Roger Cedeno on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Mark Kotsay. Trachsel then shut down the Padres in the bottom half.

After a scoreless third inning, Alfonzo singled to open the top of the fourth. Burnitz drew a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Perez advanced the runners to second and third base. Ordonez followed with a fielder’s choice ground ball to drive home Alfonzo. On the play, Cruz made an error that brought home Burnitz and moved Ordonez to second. Trachsel grounded out to Cruz and a double by Cedeno plated Ordonez for a 4-1 Mets lead. On his own hit, Cedeno was out via a throw by Kotsay to Burroughs to end the inning. Trachsel then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Roberto Alomar singled against Middlebrook to begin the top of the fifth. Alomar stole second base and Mo Vaughn fouled out to Sweeney. Mike Piazza grounded out to Burroughs and a double by Alfonzo drove home Alomar. San Diego reliever Kevin Pickford retired Burnitz on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Lankford and a single by Cruz began the bottom half. Burroughs drew a walk and Wiki Gonzalez came to bat. Gonzalez hit a grounder to third baseman Alfonzo, who stepped on the base for an out on Cruz. Edgardo threw to second baseman Alomar to get Burroughs for the second out. Roberto then made a throw to first baseman Vaughn that beat Gonzalez and completed a triple play.

Pickford set down the Mets in order in the top of the sixth. Trachsel pitched a scoreless bottom half and Cedeno drew a walk against Padres’ reliever Jason Boyd to lead off the top of the seventh. Alomar reached on Cruz’s third error and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Vaughn walked to load the bases and Piazza hit a grand slam to increase the Mets’ lead to 9-1. Alfonzo grounded out to Burroughs and consecutive walks to Burnitz and Perez ensued. Ordonez doubled to drive home Burnitz with the tenth New York run and Boyd was replaced on the mound by San Diego’s Tom Davey. Trachsel greeted Davey with a single that brought home Perez and sent Ordonez to third. Cedeno hit a force play grounder that scored Ordonez. Pinch-hitter Joe McEwing doubled to drive home Cedeno for a 13-1 Mets lead. On his own hit, McEwing was out at third via a throw from Lankford to Burroughs to finish off the inning.

Lankford got a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh. Bubba Trammell was retired on a pop-up to shortstop Ordonez. Sweeney popped out to third baseman Ty Wigginton and a walk to Cruz followed. Burroughs hit a double to drive home Lankford and Cruz. Gonzalez doubled to bring home Burroughs with the Padres’ fourth run of the game. Trachsel retired Trenidad Hubbard on a grounder to second baseman McEwing for the inning’s third out and Davey pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez then set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

San Diego reliever Alan Embree hurled a scoreless top of the ninth. Trammell and Sweeney got back-to-back singles against the Mets’ Scott Strickland to begin the bottom of the inning. Cruz hit a force play ground ball to Wigginton and a fly ball by Burroughs was caught by left fielder Cedeno. Strickland then struck out Gonzalez to end the game. The Mets had a decisive victory.