April 15, 1991: Six Runs in 9th Beat Bucs
|Date: April 15, 1991|
|Mets starter: David Cone|
|Winning pitcher: David Cone|
|Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Dave Magadan, Kevin Elster|
|Key play: Johnson’s homer and singles, Magadan’s single, Elster’s triple|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Monday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets scored six runs in the ninth inning for a 9-3 win over the Bucs.
Pirates’ starter Zane Smith gave up only a single to Vince Coleman in the top of the first. The Mets’ David Cone pitched a scoreless bottom half and Howard Johnson hit a home run to lead off the top of the second. Tommy Herr grounded out to shortstop Jay Bell and a single by Rick Cerone followed. Smith struck out both Kevin Elster and Cone to finish off the inning. Cone then yielded just a single to Jose Lind in the bottom half.
Keith Miller got a one-out single in the top of the third. Dave Magadan singled and Mark Carreon’s ground out to third baseman Jeff King moved the runners to second and third base. Johnson singled to drive home Miller and Magadan for a 3-0 Mets lead. Herr grounded out to second baseman Lind to end the inning and Cone retired the side in order in the bottom half. Smith then hurled a scoreless top of the fourth.
Gary Varsho singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. King hit a single and Mike LaValliere drew a walk to load the bases. Lind followed with a single that brought home Varsho and King, reducing the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Smith singled to reload the bases and Cone struck out Gary Redus. David retired Bell on a fly ball to center fielder Coleman that ended the inning and singles by Magadan and Carreon opened the top of the fifth. Smith retired the next three Mets batters to close out the inning and Bobby Bonilla doubled with one out in the bottom half. Cone then got Varsho to ground out to second baseman Herr and threw a called third strike past King for the inning’s final out.
Smith and Cone each pitched a scoreless sixth. Pittsburgh reliever Bob Patterson surrendered just a walk to Magadan in the top of the seventh and Redus singled to begin the bottom half. Bell’s sacrifice bunt advanced Redus to second base and Andy Van Slyke drew a walk. Bonilla flied out to left fielder Carreon and a double by Varsho scored Redus to tie the game at 3-3. King popped out to first baseman Magadan to end the inning and Patterson set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Cone then held the Bucs to an infield single by pinch-hitter Carmelo Martinez in the bottom half.
Pinch-hitter Gregg Jefferies drew a walk against Pirates’ reliever Bob Kipper to open the top of the ninth. Coleman walked and Miller got a bunt single on which Kipper made an error that allowed Jefferies to score the go-ahead run. On the play, Coleman advanced to third and Miller went to second. Magadan singled to drive home Coleman and a pop-up by Carreon was caught by first baseman Redus. Johnson and Herr followed with consecutive singles that plated Miller and Magadan, respectively, for a 7-3 Mets lead. Pittsburgh’s Bill Landrum recorded a strikeout of Cerone. Elster hit a triple to bring home Johnson and Herr with the eighth and ninth New York runs of the game. Landrum then threw a called third strike past Jefferies to close out the inning.
Mets’ reliever Alejandro Pena retired Bell on a fly ball to Coleman to begin the bottom of the ninth. Van Slyke flied out to left fielder Daryl Boston. Pena then got Bonilla to ground out to Magadan and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory with a late scoring burst.