August 24, 1993: McKnight Scores on Wild Pitch in 9th

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Date: August 24, 1993
Mets starter: Frank Tanana
Mets: 5
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Mike Maddux
Key player(s): Jeff McKnight, Bobby Bonilla
Key play: Bonilla’s home run, Oliver’s double, Wickander’s wild pitch

The Mets faced the Reds on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. Veteran lefthander Frank Tanana took the mound for the Mets in an effort to end the team’s four-game losing streak. On a wild pitch in the ninth inning, the Mets came out with a skid-stopping 5-4 win over Cincinnati.

Tanana set down the Reds in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Joe Orsulak got a leadoff double and Cincinnati starter Steve Luebbers retired Jeromy Burnitz on a ground ball to second baseman Juan Samuel. An error by first baseman Hal Morris on Eddie Murray’s grounder allowed Orsulak to score the first run of the game. Bobby Bonilla followed with a two-run homer for a 3-0 Mets lead. Jeff Kent drew a walk and stole second as Ryan Thompson struck out. Luebbers then got Charlie O'Brien to ground out to third baseman Chris Sabo and end the inning.

In the top of the second, the Reds got a run on Tim Costo’s first homer of his major league career. Luebbers pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. Tanana gave up a single to Jeff Branson and hit Luebbers with a pitch to start the top of the third. Branson stole third base and scored on Frank’s wild pitch. Following a walk to Samuel, Tanana struck out Morris and got Sabo to fly out to right fielder Burnitz. Kevin Mitchell flied out to left fielder Orsulak to end the inning. The Mets were then set down in order by Luebbers again in the bottom half.

Tanana and Luebbers each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. In the seventh, Frank retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the inning and Cincinnati reliever Scott Service did the same in the bottom half. Jeff Innis pitched a perfect inning of relief for the Mets in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Murray hit a one-out triple that was followed by an intentional walk to Bonilla. Jeff Kent singled to score Murray and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-2. Thompson’s ground out to Morris advanced the runners to second and third. Service then retired O’Brien on a liner to left fielder Mitchell to end the inning.

Innis walked Reggie Sanders to open the top of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Thomas Howard reached first base on an error by shortstop Kevin Baez. Reliever Mike Maddux came in and retired the next two Cincinnati batters. With pinch-hitter Joe Oliver at the plate, Sanders and Howard pulled off a double steal. Maddux balked to score Sanders and move Howard to third. Oliver hit a double to bring home Howard and tie the game at 4-4. Maddux then caught a pop-up by Samuel for the third out of the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Jeff McKnight got a one-out triple off Reds’ reliever Jerry Spradlin. Lefthander Kevin Wickander came in to face pinch-hitter Todd Hundley. Wickander threw a wild pitch that allowed McKnight to come home from third and end the game. The Mets had a victory to put closure to their four-game losing streak.