April 14, 1994: Mets Beat Cubs in Late Slugging Battle

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Date: April 14, 1994
Mets starter: Bret Saberhagen
Mets: 10
Cubs: 9
Winning pitcher: Doug Linton
Key player(s): Ryan Thompson, Jeff Kent
Key play: Thompson’s home run, Kent’s two homers

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams combined for five home runs from the fifth inning to the eighth. In the end, the Mets emerged with a 10-9 win over Chicago.

Bret Saberhagen and the Cubs’ Steve Trachsel each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Saberhagen hurled a perfect top of the third and Fernando Vina drew a walk with one out in the bottom half. Kevin McReynolds singled and advanced to second base on an error by left fielder Derrick May. Jeromy Burnitz reached on a fielder’s choice ground ball to score Vina and move McReynolds to third. Jeff Kent was struck out and a double by David Segui brought home McReynolds and Burnitz for a 3-0 Mets lead. Kelly Stinnett singled and Ryan Thompson drew a walk that loaded the bases. Trachsel then fanned Saberhagen to finish off the inning.

After a scoreless fourth, May hit a leadoff double in the top of the fifth. May went to third base on Sammy Sosa’s single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Rick Wilkins. Sosa advanced to second base on Steve Buechele’s ground out to shortstop Jose Vizcaino and to third on Saberhagen’s errant pickoff throw. Shawon Dunston hit a single to bring home Sosa for the second Chicago run. Saberhagen struck out pinch-hitter Eddie Zambrano to end the inning and Stinnett hit a two out single against Cubs’ reliever Jim Bullinger in the bottom half. Thompson slugged a two-run homer for a 5-2 New York lead and Saberhagen drew a walk. Bullinger then got Vizcaino on a line drive to third baseman Buechele for the inning’s final out.

Mark Grace hit a double with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. May drew a walk and Sosa singled to score Grace. Wilkins went down on strikes for the third out and Vina doubled to begin the bottom half. McReynolds lined out to second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who then made an error that allowed Vina to go to third. Chicago reliever Blaise Ilsley walked pinch-hitter John Cangelosi and a three-run homer by Kent extended the Mets’ lead to 8-3. Ilsley then got Segui to fly out to right fielder Sosa and retired Stinnett on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning.

Saberhagen set down the Cubs in order in the top of the seventh. Chicago’s Chuck Crim pitched a scoreless bottom half and Tuffy Rhodes doubled against Mets’ reliever Mike Maddux to lead off the top of the eighth. Sandberg singled to drive home Rhodes and moved to second base on Grace’s ground out to Maddux. May walked and Sosa hit a three-run homer against New York’s Jonathan Hurst. Wilkins drew a walk and a home run by Buechele put the Cubs ahead, 9-8. Dunston singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Hurst was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Doug Linton, who retired pinch-hitter Rey Sanchez on a fly ball to center fielder Thompson. Linton then got Rhodes to fly out to left fielder McReynolds and finish off the inning.

Leading off the bottom of the eighth, Cangelosi hit a single against Chicago reliever Dan Plesac. Kent followed with his second homer of the game to regain a one-run lead for the Mets. Plesac set down the next three batters to end the inning and New York’s John Franco got Sandberg on a pop-up to second baseman Kent to start the top of the ninth. Grace was struck out and pinch-hitter Glenallen Hill singled to left field. Franco then fanned Sosa for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory in what had developed into a slugging contest.