April 25, 1990: Five Runs in 8th Overtake Braves

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Date: April 25, 1990
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 8
Braves: 5
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Kevin Elster, Kevin McReynolds, Mike Marshall
Key play: Elster’s triple, McReynolds’ single, Marshall’s double

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. The Mets scored five runs in the eighth inning for an 8-5 win over Atlanta.

Oddibe McDowell and Jeff Treadway got back-to-back singles against Mets’ starter David Cone to begin the top of the first. Lonnie Smith singled to drive home McDowell and a strikeout of Jim Presley ensued. Tommy Gregg went down on strikes and Dale Murphy hit a single that scored Treadway for a 2-0 Braves lead. Cone struck out Ernie Whitt to end the inning. Atlanta’s John Smoltz then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Cone surrendered just a walk to Smoltz in the top of the second. Darryl Strawberry drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the inning. Kevin McReynolds hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Jeff Blauser and advanced to third base on a single by Dave Magadan. Mackey Sasser was struck out and Kevin Elster tripled to drive home McReynolds and Magadan. Cone followed with a single to plate Elster and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Smoltz then retired Gregg Jefferies on a fly ball to left fielder Smith to close out the inning.

Leading off the top of the third, Smith hit a home run to tie the game. Presley doubled and Gregg drew a walk. Murphy got an infield single to load the bases and Whitt took a called third strike. With Blauser at bat, Presley scored on a wild pitch to give the Braves a 4-3 lead. Cone threw a called third strike past Blauser and fanned Smoltz for the inning’s final out. Smoltz then gave up just a single to Strawberry in the bottom half.

Smith drew a two-out walk against Cone in the top of the fourth. Presley followed with a double to bring home Smith and extend the Atlanta lead to 5-3. Mets’ reliever Bob Ojeda got Gregg on a called third strike that ended the inning and Smoltz retired the side in order in the bottom half. Murphy doubled to open the top of the fifth. Whitt popped out to shortstop Elster and a walk to Blauser ensued. Ojeda struck out Smoltz and retired McDowell on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Magadan. Smoltz then held the Mets to a double by Jefferies in the bottom half.

Ojeda and Smoltz each hurled scoreless and hitless sixth and seventh innings. Mets’ reliever Ron Darling set down the side in order in the top of the eighth and Jefferies singled against the Braves’ Mike Stanton to begin the bottom half. Mark Carreon popped out to Blauser and a single by Howard Johnson followed. Strawberry reached on second baseman Treadway’s error to load the bases and moved to third base on McReynolds’ single that brought home Jefferies and Johnson with the tying runs. On his own hit, McReynolds advanced to second via a throw. Pinch-hitter Tim Teufel was walked intentionally to reload the bases and Stanton was replaced on the mound by Atlanta reliever Rick Luecken. Pinch-hitter Mike Marshall greeted Luecken with a double that scored Strawberry and McReynolds for a 7-5 Mets lead. Elster hit a sacrifice fly that drove home Teufel with the fifth New York run of the inning and eighth of the game. With pinch-hitter Barry Lyons at the plate, Marshall went to third on a wild pitch. Luecken then got Lyons to pop out to third baseman Presley and end the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Treadway on a fly ball to right fielder Strawberry to start the top of the ninth. Smith grounded out to first baseman Teufel. Franco then got Presley to ground out to Elster and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory with a late comeback.