September 1, 2001: Payton's Double in 11th Beats Fish

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Date: September 1, 2001
Mets starter: Kevin Appier
Mets: 3
Marlins: 2
Winning pitcher: Grant Roberts
Key player(s): Kevin Appier, Jay Payton
Key play: Appier’s single, Payton’s double

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 39,486 fans on hand. Jay Payton hit a run-scoring double in the 11th inning to give the Mets a 3-2 win over Florida.

Following a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Kevin Appier gave up only a single to Alex Gonzalez in the top of the second. Todd Zeile singled against the Marlins’ A. J. Burnett to lead off the bottom half. Benny Agbayani drew a walk and Desi Relaford’s ground out to second baseman Luis Castillo advanced the runners to second and third base. Rey Ordonez was retired on a foul pop-up to catcher Charles Johnson. Appier followed with a single to drive home Zeile and Agbayani for a 2-0 Mets lead. Burnett then got Matt Lawton on a fly ball to center fielder Preston Wilson for the inning’s final out.

Appier pitched a perfect top of the third. Burnett shut down the Mets in the bottom half and John Mabry hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the fourth. Johnson was struck out to end the inning and Burnett hurled a scoreless bottom half. Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth. A sacrifice bunt by Burnett moved Gonzalez to second base. Gonzalez went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Castillo’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2. Appier retired Dave Berg on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Ordonez. Burnett then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Appier surrendered just a walk to Derrek Lee in the top of the sixth. Burnett hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Kevin shut down the Fish again in the top of the seventh. Florida reliever Vladimir Nunez retired the Mets in order in the bottom half. Appier yielded only a single to Berg in the top of the eighth and Nunez set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning. Johnson hit a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez in the top of the ninth. Gonzalez popped out to Ordonez and a single by pinch-hitter Kevin Millar advanced pinch-runner Jeff Abbott to third base. Benitez then got Castillo to ground out to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo and finish off the inning.

Tsuyoshi Shinjo singled against Marlins’ reliever Braden Looper to begin the bottom of the ninth. Mike Piazza grounded to third baseman Berg for a double play and Zeile drew a walk. Payton singled to send pinch-runner Joe McEwing to third base. Relaford was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Looper retired Ordonez on a fly ball to Wilson that sent the game into extra innings. Mets’ reliever Rick White gave up only a triple to Wilson in the top of the 10th. Looper then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Grant Roberts retired the Fish in order in the top of the 11th. Jorge Toca singled against Florida’s Juan Acevedo with one out in the bottom of the inning. McEwing was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Mabry. Payton came up to bat and delivered a double that drove home Toca and ended the game. The Mets had an exciting victory.