April 18, 1998: Mets Defeat Reds in 10 Innings

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Date: April 18, 1998
Mets starter: Masato Yoshii
Mets: 5
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Mel Rojas
Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo, Butch Huskey, Mel Rojas, Rich Becker
Key play: Alfonzo’s double, Huskey’s single, Greene’s error

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. In 10 innings, the Mets came away with a 5-4 win.

Reds’ starter Pete Harnisch surrendered just a walk to John Olerud in the top of the first. The Mets’ Masato Yoshii pitched a scoreless bottom half and Harnisch yielded only a single to Carlos Baerga in the top of the second. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Ed Taubensee homered for a 1-0 Cincinnati lead. Yoshii followed up with strikeouts of both Dmitri Young and Willie Greene. Bret Boone hit a single and stole second base. Masato then fanned Reggie Sanders to close out the inning.

Rey Ordonez hit a double to begin the top of the third. Yoshii’s sacrifice bunt advanced Ordonez to third base and Rich Becker drew a walk. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled to drive home Ordonez and Becker, putting the Mets ahead by a run. Consecutive walks to Olerud and Butch Huskey loaded the bases and Brian McRae’s sacrifice fly brought home Alfonzo for a 3-1 Mets lead. Harnisch retired Baerga on a ground ball to first baseman Young for the third out of the inning. Yoshii then held the Reds to a single by Jon Nunnally in the bottom half.

Harnisch set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth. Barry Larkin singled to open the bottom of the inning. Larkin stole second base and moved to third on a single by Taubensee. Young hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Larkin and a walk to Greene ensued. Boone doubled to score Taubensee and tie the game at 3-3. Yoshii then got Sanders to pop out to shortstop Ordonez and retired Harnisch on a ground ball to third baseman Alfonzo to end the inning.

Becker hit a leadoff double in the top of the fifth. Alfonzo drew a walk and Olerud hit a grounder to Young for a double play. Huskey singled to score Becker for a one-run New York lead and a fly ball by McRae was caught by left fielder Chris Stynes to close out the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Nunnally slugged a home run for a 4-4 tie. Larkin flied out to right fielder Huskey and a single by Taubensee followed. Yoshii then retired Young on a fly ball to left fielder Becker for the third out of the inning.

Harnisch pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Mets’ reliever Brian Bohanon yielded just a single to Boone in the bottom half and Cincinnati’s Scott Sullivan retired the side in order in the top of the seventh. Bohanon set down the Reds 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and Sullivan retired all three batters in the top of the eighth. Boone singled against New York’s Mel Rojas with two outs in the bottom half. Sanders hit a force play grounder to third baseman Alfonzo that ended the inning and Reds’ reliever Stan Belinda hurled a perfect top of the ninth. Rojas then pitched a scoreless bottom half to send the game onward.

To open the top of the 10th, Becker singled and moved on to second base. Alfonzo was hit by a pitch and Olerud’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Huskey was walked intentionally to load the bases and McRae popped out to second baseman Boone. Pinch-hitter Jim Tatum reached on third baseman Greene’s error that allowed Becker to score and give the Mets a one-run lead. Belinda then struck out Tim Spehr to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco fanned Larkin to start the bottom of the 10th. Taubensee was retired on a ground ball to first baseman Olerud. Franco then got Young on a grounder back to the mound for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory in extra innings.