Leiter, Floyd Propel Mets to Season's First Win

The Mets wanted nothing more than to avenge Monday's Opening Day disaster by coming out two days later and getting a victory. They did just that. Al Leiter pitched six innings of one run ball and Cliff Floyd smacked his first home run of the year as the New York Mets defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-1 inside Shea Stadium on Wednesday night.

In the top of the sixth, Sammy Sosa stepped to the plate as the tying run with two runners on, but Al Leiter was able to get him to hit a fly ball that Cliff Floyd hauled in on the left field warning track. It looked like it was going to soar over the fence, but the wind held it up. Sosa was so sure it was going to go out that he did his patented skip after making contact, but the home run never occured. The Cubs outfielder is still looking for his 500th career homer.

"I probably hit it too high. The wind stopped it," Sosa said to the Associated Press. "I wish I could get it over with today. Sooner or later, I'm going to hit it."

The Cubs (1-1) got on the board in the top half of the first against Mets' starter Al Leiter after Moises Alou singled to shallow right and knocked in shortstop Alex Gonzalez. That, though, was a lead Dusty Baker's club would not have for long.

Cliff Floyd, who signed a four-year deal with the Mets (1-1) this off-season, hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning to put his new team up 2-1 and they never looked back. Roberto Alomar, who went 2-for-4, doubled down the left field line setting up the home run.

Ty Wigginton followed Floyd and dropped a single in front of centerfielder Corey Patterson. Two wild pitches would move the rookie third basemen all the way over to third with just one out and Jeromy Burnitz at the plate.

Burnitz swung and struck out on a pitch from Cubs starter Matt Clement (0-1), but the ball was in the dirt and catcher Damian Miller had to complete the play by throwing down to first basemen Eric Karros. Miller hit Burnitz as he was running down the line and Wigginton scored on the error.

One inning later, in the bottom of the second, Roger Cedeno deposited a pitch from Matt Clement over the right field wall for a solo home run. Clement left after just three innings because he was experiencing tightness in his lower back.

"He jammed it. We think he'll be OK," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said to the Associated Press.

Mark Guthrie, Joe Borowski, and Kyle Farnsworth pitched the final five innings for the Cubs and limited the Mets to just one hit and no runs.

The Mets were without their future Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza, who began serving his four game suspension. Barring any game cancellations, Piazza will return to the lineup on Sunday against the Expos.

Leiter (1-0) pitched six innings allowing one run, four hits, three walks, and striking out three. He left to a pinch hitter after throwing ninety-seven pitches in his first outing of the year.

Relievers David Weathers and Mike Stanton pitched the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, and Armando Benitez came on in the ninth to seal the first win of the season for the Mets.

Writer Christopher Guy covers the Mets for NYMFansOnly.com


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