April 19, 1997: Late Scoring Downs Cubs

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Date: April 19, 1997
Mets starter: Mark Clark
Mets: 6
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Mark Clark
Key player(s): Todd Hundley, Lance Johnson, Alex Ochoa
Key play: Hundley’s double, Johnson’s sacrifice fly, Ochoa’s single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a two-hour and fifty-one-minute game. The Mets scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings for a 6-3 win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter Mark Clark surrendered only a walk to Mark Grace in the top of the first. Lance Johnson walked against the Cubs’ Terry Mulholland to lead off the bottom half. Johnson advanced to second base on Carlos Baerga’s ground out to Mulholland and came home on a double by John Olerud for a 1-0 Mets’ lead. Olerud went to third on Bernard Gilkey’s single and scored the second New York run on Todd Hundley’s sacrifice fly. Mulholland then got Butch Huskey to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Shawon Dunston for the inning’s third out.

Mark Clark and Mulholland each pitched two-hit scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Mark shut down the Cubs again in the top of the sixth and Olerud drew a one-out walk against Mulholland in the bottom half. Gilkey walked and moved to third base on Hundley’s double that brought home Olerud, increasing the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Chicago reliever Terry Adams retired the next two batters to close out the inning and Kevin Orie doubled with one out in the top of the seventh. Scott Servais grounded out to shortstop Rey Ordonez and a single by Rey Sanchez drove home Orie. Pinch-hitter Dave Clark connected for a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3. Mark Clark then retired Brian McRae on a grounder to third baseman Huskey to end the inning.

Ordonez drew a walk against Cubs’ reliever Turk Wendell to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Wendell threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Matt Franco and was replaced on the mound by Chicago’s Bob Patterson. With Johnson at bat, Ordonez stole second base and went to third on an error by catcher Servais. Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to score Ordonez and put the Mets ahead, 4-3. Patterson then struck out Baerga to finish off the inning.

Mets’ relievers Greg McMichael and John Franco combined for a scoreless top of the eighth. Olerud singled against Patterson to lead off the bottom half. Gilkey drew a walk against the Cubs’ Kent Bottenfield and an infield single by Hundley loaded the bases. Huskey was struck out and Alex Ochoa hit a single to bring home Olerud and Gilkey with the Mets’ fifth and sixth runs of the game. With Ordonez at the plate, Hundley got caught between bases and was tagged out by Servais. Bottenfield then got Ordonez on a called third strike to close out the inning.

Orie grounded out to Ordonez to begin the top of the ninth. Servais singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Sanchez was retired on a ground ball to Ordonez and an error by Huskey allowed Doug Glanville to reach base. John Franco then got McRae to ground out to first baseman Olerud and end the game. The Mets had a victory with some late-inning scoring.