April 17, 1999: Franco's Double Leads Mets to Win

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Date: April 17, 1999
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 3
Expos: 2
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Bobby Jones, Matt Franco, Bobby Bonilla
Key play: Matt Franco’s double, Bonilla’s RBI force play grounder

The Mets faced the Expos on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Matt Franco hit a two-run double that sparked the Mets to a 3-2 win over Montreal.

Mets’ starter Bobby Jones pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. The Expos’ Carl Pavano gave up just a single to Roger Cedeno in the bottom half and Michael Barrett doubled with two outs in the top of the second. Manny Martinez hit a triple to drive home Barrett and scored on a single by Pavano for a 2-0 Montreal lead. Orlando Cabrera hit a single to send Pavano to third base. On his own hit, Cabrera was out at second via a throw by right fielder Bobby Bonilla to shortstop Rey Ordonez to end the inning. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases against Pavano in the bottom half.

Jones shut down the Expos in the top of the third. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, John Olerud singled and Bonilla drew a walk. Matt Franco came to bat and doubled to bring home Olerud and Bonilla, tying the game at 2-2. Brian McRae grounded out to second baseman Wilton Guerrero to finish off the inning and Jones set down the side in order in the top of the fourth. Pavano then retired all three Mets batters on outfield fly balls in the bottom half.

Jones yielded only a single to Rondell White in the top of the fifth. Cedeno hit a double to open the bottom of the inning. Edgardo Alfonzo grounded out to Guerrero to advance Cedeno to third base. Olerud drew a walk and Bonilla hit a force play ground ball to Guerrero that scored Cedeno for a one-run Mets lead. Pavano then got Matt Franco on a pop-up to shortstop Cabrera to close out the inning.

Jones hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Pavano retired the Mets in order in the bottom half and Jones set down all three batters in the top of the seventh. Cedeno got a one-out single against Montreal reliever Anthony Telford in the bottom of the inning. Alfonzo flied out to left fielder White and an error by third baseman Shane Andrews allowed Olerud to reach base. Bonilla took a called third strike to end the inning and Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Telford then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Mets’ reliever John Franco retired pinch-hitter Jose Vidro on a fly ball to right fielder Jermaine Allensworth to start the top of the ninth. Andrews was called out on strikes and Barrett drew a walk. John Franco then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Chris Widger to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a comeback victory.