September 17, 2002: Burnitz's Homer Beats Cubs

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Date: September 17, 2002
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 3
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: David Weathers
Key player(s): Jeromy Burnitz
Key play: Burnitz's home run in 9th

The Mets opened a three-game series with the Cubs on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. A pitchers duel between Al Leiter and Chicago's Alan Benes lasted for more than seven innings. In the end, the Mets came out with a 3-1 win on a home run by Jeromy Burnitz in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Mets got a run off Benes in the third. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases before Roberto Alomar's double play grounder brought home Rey Ordonez. The Cubs tied the game in the fourth when Sammy Sosa homered off Leiter to lead off the inning.

Leiter and Benes both pitched shutout ball from the fifth inning to the seventh. Al also retired the Cubs in order in the eighth, recording his seventh and eighth strikeouts of the game. Reliever Juan Cruz then pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth for Chicago.

In the ninth, David Weathers relieved Leiter with two Cubs on base and one out. David struck out Mark Bellhorn and Alex Gonzalez to end the inning. In the bottom half, Edgardo Alfonzo got a one-out single off Cruz before Burnitz homered to end the game. The Mets and begun the series with a victory.