May 9, 2000: Back-to-back Homers Beat Pirates

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Date: May 9, 2000
Mets starter: Mike Hampton
Mets: 2
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Mike Hampton
Key player(s): Derek Bell, Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Hampton
Key play: Bell's and Alfonzo's homers in 3rd

The Mets and Pirates faced each other on a Tuesday night at Three Rivers Stadium. The teams had a two-hour and 42-minute pitchers duel to begin a three-game series. The Mets emerged with a 2-0 win on consecutive home runs by Derek Bell and Edgardo Alfonzo in the third inning.

Mike Hampton and Pittsburgh's Kris Benson each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. In the top of the third, Benson retired Hampton and Rickey Henderson before Bell came to bat. Derek homered to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Alfonzo followed with another homer and Mike Piazza singled. Benson then got Robin Ventura on a fly ball to left fielder Wil Cordero for the final out of the inning.

Hampton struck out two Pirate batters in pitching a perfect bottom of the third inning. He also recorded two strikeouts in retiring the side in order in the fourth. The Bucs had runners on second and third base with none out in the bottom of the fifth, but failed to get a run. Mike then struck out two more batters while keeping Pittsburgh scoreless in the sixth.

Benson got Henderson to hit into a double play for the final outs of a scoreless top of the seventh inning. Hampton shut down Pittsburgh with three ground balls in the bottom half. Bell led off the top of the eighth with a single, but Benson got Alfonzo for another double play and the Mets didn't score. The Pirates were then kept without a run by Hampton in the last half of the inning.

For Pittsburgh, Scott Sauerbeck pitched a scoreless top of the ninth despite issuing two walks. The Bucs put two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the inning. Hampton was replaced by Armando Benitez, who got Pat Meares to fly out to left fielder Melvin Mora. Benitez then got pinch-hitter John Vander Wal on a called third strike to end the game. The Mets had a victory as Bell's and Alfonzo's back-to-back home runs stood up.