September 27, 2001: Ten Doubles Lead Mets Past Expos

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Date: September 27, 2001
Mets starter: Bruce Chen
Mets: 12
Expos: 6
Winning pitcher: Rick White
Key player(s): Desi Relaford, Mark Johnson, Mike Piazza
Key play: Relaford’s home run, Mets’ ten doubles

The Mets faced the Expos on a Thursday night in Montreal. The teams concluded a three-game series at Olympic Stadium. A collection of ten doubles highlighted a Mets comeback for a 12-6 win and a sweep of the series.

Expos’ starter Tomo Ohka held the Mets to a double by Edgardo Alfonzo in a scoreless top of the first inning. In the bottom half, the Mets’ Bruce Chen issued a one-out walk to Jose Vidro. An ensuing single by Vladimir Guerrero moved Vidro to third base with Guerrero taking second on a throw. Orlando Cabrera singled to bring home Vidro and send Guerrero to third. Mark Smith hit a sacrifice fly that plated Guerrero for a 2-0 Montreal lead. Cabrera was then caught stealing by Mets’ catcher Vance Wilson for the third out.

Ohka shut down the Mets in the top of the second. Geoff Blum singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Chen retired Michael Barrett on a fly ball to right fielder Matt Lawton and a single by Ohka ensued. Mike Mordecai hit a single to score Blum for the Expos’ third run. Vidro then flied out to left fielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo to end the inning.

With two outs in the top of the third, Lawton doubled and Alfonzo drew a walk. Robin Ventura followed with a two-run double. Ohka got Shinjo on a fly ball to right fielder Guerrero for the third out. Cabrera hit a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the inning. Smith walked and Lee Stevens homered to extend the Montreal lead to 6-2. Blum flied out to left fielder Shinjo and a double by Barrett ensued. Chen then struck out Ohka to bring a close to the inning.

Jay Payton doubled with one out in the top of the fourth. Wilson hit a fly ball to Guerrero for the second out and Rey Ordonez singled. On the hit, Payton was out at the plate on a throw by shortstop Cabrera to catcher Barrett. Mets’ reliever Dicky Gonzalez pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. Ohka set down the Mets in order in the top of the fifth. Gonzalez then retired the Expos 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

In the top of the sixth inning, Todd Zeile got a two-out single and went to third on Payton’s second double. Pinch-hitter Mark Johnson followed with a double that scored Zeile and Payton. Montreal reliever Joey Eischen fanned pinch-hitter Joe McEwing for the third out. In the bottom half, Grant Roberts set down the Expos with a perfect inning of relief.

Montreal’s Scott Stewart gave up a leadoff double to Desi Relaford in the top of the seventh. Lawton singled to advance Relaford to third base. Reliever Britt Reames retired Alfonzo on a pop-up to first baseman Stevens and walked Ventura to load the bases. Shinjo hit a single to bring home Relaford and cut the Expos’ lead to 6-5. Zeile was called out on strikes and got ejected (along with manager Bobby Valentine) after an argument with umpire Mark Wegner. Payton hit into a force play to end the inning. Mets’ reliever Rick White then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Pinch-hitter Timo Perez singled off the Expos’ Scott Strickland to begin the top of the eighth inning. Jason Phillips hit into a force play and Relaford homered to put the Mets ahead, 7-6. Lawton was hit by a pitch and stole second base before Strickland struck out Alfonzo. With reliever Graeme Lloyd pitching to Ventura, Lawton stole third. Lloyd fanned Ventura for the third out. Mets’ reliever John Franco then set down Montreal 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.

Shinjo and Jorge Toca hit back-to-back singles off Lloyd to start the top of the ninth. Payton reached on an error by second baseman Vidro to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Mike Piazza hit the Mets’ eighth double of the game to score three runs. Expos’ reliever Darwin Cubillan fanned Phillips and yielded a double to Relaford that plated pinch-runner Donne Wall. Lawton followed with the Mets’ tenth double to drive home Relaford. Alfonzo grounded out and Ventura drew a walk. Cubillan then struck out Shinjo to end the inning.

Peter Bergeron singled off Mets’ reliever Jerrod Riggan to begin the bottom of the ninth. Mordecai hit a grounder to third baseman Ventura for a double play. Riggan then retired Vidro on a fly ball to Shinjo for the final out of the game. The Mets had a comeback victory that featured ten doubles.