May 20, 2000: Mets Avoid Snake Bite

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Date: May 20, 2000
Mets starter: Mike Hampton
Mets: 8
Diamondbacks: 7
Winning pitcher: Mike Hampton
Key player(s): Mike Hampton, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Hampton's 2-run single, Alfonzo's homer, Benitez's strikeout of Durazo

The Mets and Diamondbacks faced each other on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Mike Hampton pitched six shutout innings while the Mets built up a eight-run lead. They managed to hold on for an 8-7 win after a venomous Arizona comeback attempt in the eighth and ninth innings.

The Mets scored a run in the third inning against Diamondbacks' starter Omar Daal. A single by Rey Ordonez and an error by Daal allowing Hampton to reach base started the inning. Ordonez later came home on an infield single by Derek Bell.

In the fourth, the Mets broke out for five runs. Three consecutive one-out singles loaded the bases as Hampton came to bat. Mike delivered another single, scoring Benny Agbayani and Jay Payton to extend the Met lead to 3-0. Ordonez then scored on an error by Jay Bell and Derek Bell's single drove in Hampton. Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a sacrifice fly off reliever Russ Springer to score Joe McEwing.

Hampton kept Arizona shut out through six innings. Reliever Dennis Cook pitched a scoreless seventh, recording two strikeouts. Alfonzo then hit a two-run homer off Greg Swindell in the bottom of the seventh to increase the Mets' lead to 8-0.

The Diamondbacks scored in the top of the eighth inning on Greg Colbrunn's two-run homer off Pat Mahomes. Dan Plesac then pitched a perfect bottom half for Arizona. Entering the ninth, the Mets had a six-run lead.

Rich Rodriguez came on to pitch for the Mets. Bernard Gilkey started the ninth with a single and scored when Travis Lee followed with a double. After a walk, Rodriguez got Hanley Frias to ground into a double play. Tony Womack then singled to bring home Lee, making the score 8-4.

Damian Miller, batting for Plesac, got another single off Rodriguez. Rich was relieved by John Franco, who gave up a single to Andy Fox to load the bases for the Diamondbacks. Colbrunn then singled to score Womack as Kelly Stinnett came to bat with the bases still loaded.

Stinnett got Arizona's fifth straight single of the inning, scoring Miller and Fox to make it a one-run game. Armando Benitez came in to relieve Franco with the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Benitez struck out Erubiel Durazo (pinch-hitting for Gilkey) to finally end the ball game. The Mets had survived a wild Arizona rally to elude a snake-biting experience.