September 21, 2002: Snead's Homer in 11th Beats Expos

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Date: September 21, 2002
Mets starter: Pedro Astacio
Mets: 6
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Armando Benitez
Key player(s): Esix Snead, Armando Benitez
Key play: Galarraga's error in 9th, Snead's home run

The Mets played the Expos on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 30,964 was on hand to see an extra-inning game that lasted more than three-and-a-half hours. The Mets emerged with a 6-3 win on Esix Snead's three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th.

In the first inning, the Expos scored against Mets' starter Pedro Astacio. Endy Chavez led off with a double and moved to third base on Jamey Carroll's sacrifice bunt. Chavez came home on Vladimir Guerrero's infield grounder for a 1-0 Montreal lead. Astacio then retired Matthew Cepicky for the third out and Javier Vazquez set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

From the second inning to the fourth, Astacio and Vazquez each pitched shutout ball. Pedro faced the minimum nine batters and recorded three strikeouts. Vazquez surrendered singles to Mo Vaughn and Vance Wilson in the second and a double to Timo Perez in the third, but no Met runs. In the fourth, Vazquez pitched a perfect inning with three infield pop-ups.

Fernando Tatis began the top of the fifth with a double off Astacio. Brad Wilkerson's sacrifice bunt advanced Tatis to third base. Michael Barrett followed with a sacrifice fly to score Tatis for the Expos' second run. Astacio then struck out Wilton Guerrero to end the inning.

Astacio singled off Vazquez with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Roger Cedeno followed with a double to center field. Pedro tried to score on the play, but was thrown out at home by Chavez. Endy then homered off Astacio in the top of the sixth to increase the Montreal lead to 3-0.

Vaughn homered off Vazquez for the Mets' first run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Astacio struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom half, Wilson doubled and came home on Joe McEwing's single to make the score 3-2. Vazquez then retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Mets' reliever Steve Reed shut down the Expos in the top of the eighth inning. Montreal's Scott Stewart pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the bottom half. For the Mets, Mark Guthrie got Tatis to hit into a double play to close out the top of the ninth inning. Stewart then walked Edgardo Alfonzo to lead off the bottom half and was replaced by Tim Drew.

Alfonzo stole second base as Drew struck out Ty Wigginton. Wilson singled to advance Alfonzo to third. McEwing lined to second baseman Wilton Guerrero for the second out of the inning. Pinch-hitting for Guthrie, Tony Clark hit a ground ball that was misplayed by first baseman Andres Galarraga. Alfonzo scored on the error to tie the game. Drew then retired Cedeno to force extra innings.

Reliever Armando Benitez set down all three Montreal hitters in the top of the 10th inning. Snead singled off the Expos' Joey Eischen to begin the bottom half. Eischen threw a wild pitch to allow Esix to go to second and issued a walk to Roberto Alomar. Dan Smith came in to relieve Eischen and retired the next three batters to end the Mets scoring chance.

In the top of the 11th, Benitez struck out two batters in pitching a scoreless inning. McEwing was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom half. Smith struck out Clark and walked Cedeno to bring Snead up to the plate. Esix clouted a home run to end the game. The Mets had an exciting come-from-behind victory.

Notes

  • Snead's home run was the only one of his major league career. The three runs were his only major league RBIs.