It's Mets Who Say "Lights Out" to White

It looked like it was going to be another one of those days for the Mets. First there was a lengthy rain delay before the game started. Then Timo Perez led off the game for the Mets and hit a booming drive off of Chicago White Sox starter Gary Glover. Unfortunately though, White Sox center fielder Aaron Rowand was running full-tilt and he leaped and extended his body for all it was worth and made a diving catch.

Then when Roberto Alomar, the third hitter of the game, was due up, lightning struck and the field was plunged into darkness. It was the Mets, specifically Pedro Astacio and Timo Perez, who would hit the lights out as the Mets won 3-1 over the White Sox, as they won their third of their last four games.

Once the stadium lights came back on, the Mets got on the scoreboard. Roberto Alomar hit a home run to right field off of Glover, who gave up all three runs and took the loss to even his record at 2-2, to put the Mets on top 1-0.

They added another run in the third when Vance Wilson hit a one-out double, and scored when Perez, who has been very hot with the bat of late, hit a single up the middle.

It was Perez again in the fifth, when he hit a one-out solo home run that made the score 3-0.

It was all Astacio, who pitched seven innings, striking out five and walking none, as he won his first game in his last five outings to raise his record to 7-2, through the fifth inning, as he just baffled the White Sox with his assortment of nasty pitches. He only had trouble in the second when he hit Paul Konerko with a pitch and then gave up a single to Rowand. He did not seem terribly concerned though, as he got catcher Mark Johnson to pop out to Rey Ordonez at short. In the fifth though, he was saved by a nice fielding play by Roger Cedeno, who made a catch while crashing into the left field wall to save what might have been a double by Rowand, extracting a small measure of revenge for Rowand's catch in the first inning.

Astacio's smooth sailing came to an abrupt halt in the seventh when Konerko, perhaps sitting on Astacio's curveball, sent it far over the left field fence. It was far enough that Cedeno would have had to be Plastic Man to be able to catch it. He then surrendered a single to Carlos Lee. An unusual, but brilliant play then saved him. Rowand hit a blooper of a fly ball too right. Alomar gave chase, with his back to the field. He caught, and then bobbled the ball as he stumbled, but Jeromy Burnitz, who has given Bobby Valentine many reasons to keep him in the lineup for his glove despite his batting woes, was right there, and he picked up the ball and fired a one-hop strike to second to an outstretched Ordonez to force out Lee. Alomar appeared to tweak his knee on the play, but stayed in the game until the top of the ninth.

The Mets had another injury scare in the eighth, and this time the player left the game. David Weathers came in to pitch for Astacio, and he got Ray Durham to line out to Rey Ordonez. Then Jose Valentin hit a ball back up the middle that hit Weathers in the shin. To make matters worse, when Weathers tried to still make the play, a miscommunication between Wilson and him caused Wilson to almost completely bowl him over. Weathers was ready to grit his teeth and keep pitching, but Valentine, perhaps mindful that this was the same city where Dizzy Dean had his toe broken by a line drive, altered his pitching motion to compensate and ruined his arm, took Weathers out of the game. Scott Strickland came in, and he broke with his previous history of coming into games that Astacio had started by pitching well. He got Frank Thomas swinging on an absolutely nasty slider, and got Magglio Ordonez to ground to Rey Ordonez at short to end the inning.

Armando Benitez came into the game in the ninth. After he walked Konerko on four straight pitches and then threw a ball to Lee, he stepped off the mound, took a deep breath and seemed to try to focus. It seemed to work, as he got both Lee and Rowand to pop out to Joe McEwing, who had come in for Alomar at the start of the ninth, at second, and then struck out Mark Johnson to end the game and record save number 14.

Notes


-Both Perez and Alomar had two hits on the night
-Tuesday's starters will be Jeff D'Amico (4-4, 3.42 E.R.A.) and Todd Ritchie (3-8, 4.44 E.R.A.)

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