Tony Terrific, Mets Club Fish 6-3

Tony Clark, who had stood on the edge of career oblivion after last season, continued his remarkable comeback, hitting a pinch-hit three-run home run to give the Mets the margin of victory in a 6-3 game. It was an exciting game that had a collision at home plate and that also saw the Marlins steal five bases off of the battery of starter Al Leiter and catcher Mike Piazza, echoing a time last year when they stole seven bases in one game against the Mets.

The middle part of the Mets lineup paid some early dividends again. Cliff Floyd singled, Piazza walked and then Mo Vaughn, continuing his hot hitting, lashed a single to left to score Floyd. 1-0 Mets.

Leiter saw the Marlins tie the game in the fourth. Luis Castillo led off the inning with a single and stole second easily off of a bad throw by Piazza. He then scored when Juan Encarnacion singled. 1-1. Encarnacion then stole second and easily took third when Piazza's throw sailed into right-center field. Leiter walked Lowell, who then stole second himself, with Piazza reluctant to throw yet another ball away. Both scored when Derrek Lee, after fouling off several tough pitches, drove a double to left field. 3-1. Leiter labored in the inning, throwing almost 40 pitches in the whole inning, but managed to escape with no more scoring.

The Mets made it 3-2 in the fifth. Robbie Alomar led off with a ground-rule double and advanced to third on Rey Sanchez's fielder's choice. After Floyd popped out, Piazza drove Alomar in with a single.

The Mets threatened in the sixth, with Ty Wigginton on third and and Jeromy Burnitz on second and one out. Jason Phillips, who had just been called up that day, hit a high bouncer in between the mound and third base. Miguel Tejera, who had come in to pitch that inning, pounced on the ball with his back to the plate. He spun and threw to the plate, where Wigginton was trying to score. Wigginton lowered his head and laid out Mike Redmond,the catcher, with an epic collision that dislodged the catcher's mask from Redmond's face and sent them both sprawling to the ground. Unfortunately he didn't dislodge the ball from Redmond's glove, and he was out.

Wigginton redeemed himself in the seventh when he drove in Floyd to tie the game at 3-3.

The stage for Clark's dramatic home run was set by pinch-hitter Roger Cedeno's golfing an infield single, and Alomar's eking out a walk. With Rey Sanchez due up next, Howe pinch-hit Clark for Sanchez, and Clark rewarded him by sending pitcher Vladimir Nunez offering deep into the night for a three-run home run and giving the Mets a 6-3 lead.


-Jay Bell came in and played short in place of Sanchez, and played a key part in the ninth, managing to settle down Armando Benitez, who had pitched into trouble. Benitez settled down and got the save. -Saturday afternoon's starters are two people looking for their first win of the season: A.J. Burnett (0-1, 3.75) Steve Trachsel (0-1, 4.76)

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