May 23, 2003: Burnitz Returns with Grand Slam
|Date: May 23, 2003|
|Mets starter: Steve Trachsel|
|Winning pitcher: Steve Trachsel|
|Key player(s): Jeromy Burnitz, Tsuyoshi Shinjo|
|Key play: Burnitz's grand slam in 6th, Shinjo's throw in 9th|
The Mets and Braves faced each other on a Friday night in Atlanta. The teams began a three-game series in front of 33,270 fans at Turner Field. A grand slam by Jeromy Burnitz in his first game back after an injury and an outstanding throw by Tsuyoshi Shinjo highlighted a 6-5 Mets victory.
Steve Trachsel and the Braves' Russ Ortiz each started the game by pitching four innings of shutout ball. In the top of the first, Roger Cedeno led off with a double and Ortiz recorded outs on each of the next three batters. Ortiz followed up by retiring the Mets in order in the second, third and fourth innings. Meanwhile, Trachsel held the Atlanta lineup without a run on three hits. Ortiz shut down the Mets again in the top of the fifth and a home run by Javy Lopez gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Cedeno hit his second double of the game with one out in the top of the sixth inning. Ty Wigginton followed with another double to score Cedeno. A single by Roberto Alomar brought home Wigginton to put the Mets ahead. Ortiz walked the next two batters to load the bases and Burnitz came to bat. Playing his first game in more than a month, Jeromy hit a grand slam to increase the Mets' lead to 6-1. Atlanta reliever Kevin Gryboski then came in to complete the inning with no further scoring.
In the bottom of the sixth, Gary Sheffield led off with a single and Chipper Jones drew a walk. Trachsel retired the next two batters and walked Lopez to load the bases. Vinny Castilla walked to force home Sheffield and an ensuing single by Mark DeRosa off reliever Pedro Feliciano scored Chipper Jones and Lopez to cut the Mets' lead to 6-4. Pat Strange then walked Rafael Furcal and struck out Marcus Giles to end the inning.
For the Braves, Ray King pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. Sheffield homered off Strange to begin the bottom half. Pat set down the next three Atlanta batters to end the inning. King pitched a perfect top of the eighth and David Weathers shut down the Braves after a double by Lopez in the bottom half. The Mets were then retired in order by Atlanta reliever Trey Hodges in the top of the ninth inning.
Armando Benitez struck out Giles and retired Sheffield on a ground ball to begin the bottom of the ninth. Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones drew walks and Julio Franco singled to center field. On the hit, Chipper Jones tried to score from second base. Center fielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo's throw caught Chipper at the plate to end the game. The Mets had a win in exciting fashion.