May 31, 2002: Ordonez's Homer in 10th Beats Marlins

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Date: May 31, 2002
Mets starter: Pedro Astacio
Mets: 6
Marlins: 5
Winning pitcher: Grant Roberts
Key player(s): Rey Ordonez
Key play: Ordonez’s double in 2nd and homer in 10th

The Mets and Marlins faced each other on a Friday night in Miami. The teams began a three-game series with an extra-inning game. Rey Ordonez hit a home run in the 10th inning to give the Mets a 6-5 win over Florida.

After a scoreless first inning, Mo Vaughn began the top of the second with a double off Marlins’ starter A. J. Burnett. Edgardo Alfonzo singled and Jeromy Burnitz struck out. A walk to Roger Cedeno loaded the bases for the Mets. Ordonez connected for a double that scored all three runners and put the Mets on top. Burnett fanned Pedro Astacio and gave up a single to Roberto Alomar. Timo Perez then grounded out to third baseman Mike Lowell to end the inning.

Mets’ starter Astacio walked Lowell and struck out Preston Wilson to begin the bottom of the second. An ensuing home run by Kevin Millar cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Astacio retired the next two Florida batters to end the inning. Pedro and Burnett each pitched scoreless ball without a hit in the third and fourth. In the top of the fifth, Mike Piazza led off with a single and Burnett set down the next three Met hitters. Astacio then shut down the Marlins on one hit in the bottom half.

Ordonez got a one-out single off Florida reliever Hansel Izquierdo in the top of the sixth inning. Astacio was hit by a pitch and Alomar walked to load the bases. Perez hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Wilson that brought home Ordonez. Piazza was given an intentional walk and reliever Armando Almanza fanned Vaughn for the third out. Mets’ reliever David Weathers then struck out the side in shutting down the Fish in the bottom of the inning.

Almanza struck out Alfonzo and Burnitz to start the top of the seventh. Cedeno followed with a home run to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Ordonez popped out to shortstop Andy Fox to end the inning. Weathers pitched a scoreless bottom half. The Mets were then retired in order by Marlins’ reliever Braden Looper in the top of the eighth inning.

Fox singled off Mets’ reliever Scott Strickland to begin the bottom of the eighth. A single by Cliff Floyd moved Fox to third base. After Floyd stole second, Lowell hit a double that brought home two runs. Wilson followed with a single to center field. Lowell tried to score on the hit, but was out at the plate on Perez’s throw to catcher Piazza. With Millar at bat, Wilson scored on Strickland’s error to tie the game at 5-5. Scott then got Millar and Derrek Lee on fly balls to Perez in center for the final two outs of the inning.

Looper and Mets’ reliever Grant Roberts each pitched a scoreless ninth inning. In the top of the 10th, Marlins reliever Vladimir Nunez fanned Burnitz and Cedeno. Ordonez followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead. Nunez then struck out pinch-hitter Mark Johnson to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 10th, Armando Benitez got Fox to pop out to shortstop Ordonez. Floyd grounded out to third baseman Alfonzo. Benitez then struck out Lowell to end the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory to start the weekend series.