April 27, 1988: Five Runs in 9th Beat Braves

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Date: April 27, 1988
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 5
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): Keith Hernandez, Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Hernandez’s home run, Dykstra’s walk, Wilson’s single

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-minute game. The Mets scored five runs in the ninth inning for a 5-2 win.

Ron Darling and the Braves’ Zane Smith each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Smith shut down the Mets again in the top of the fourth and Dale Murphy hit a home run to lead off the bottom half. Ken Griffey was called out on strikes and Gerald Perry drew a walk. Perry stole second base and came around to score on Ken Oberkfell’s triple for a 2-0 Atlanta lead. Ozzie Virgil walked and Darling got Paul Runge on a ground ball to third baseman Howard Johnson for an inning-ending double play.

Smith and Darling each pitched scoreless ball from the fifth inning to the seventh. Ron set down all nine Braves batters while Smith yielded just a single to Kevin Elster. Atlanta reliever Bruce Sutter surrendered only a walk to Johnson in the top of the eighth. The Mets’ David Cone hurled a perfect bottom half and Tim Teufel drew a walk against the Braves’ Paul Assenmacher to begin the top of the ninth. Keith Hernandez followed with a home run to tie the game at 2-2. Darryl Strawberry lined out to first baseman Perry and a single by Kevin McReynolds ensued. Gary Carter singled to advance McReynolds to third base, but was out on center fielder Albert Hall’s throw to second baseman Ron Gant. Atlanta’s Charlie Puleo walked Johnson intentionally and issued a walk to pinch-hitter Dave Magadan that loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Lenny Dykstra walked to force home McReynolds and give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Mookie Wilson hit a single to bring home Johnson and Magadan with the fourth and fifth New York runs. Puleo then retired Wally Backman on a fly ball to left fielder Dion James to close out the inning.

Murphy singled against Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell to open the bottom of the ninth. Hall grounded to shortstop Johnson (who had shifted from third) for a double play. McDowell then got Perry on a grounder to third baseman Magadan for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory with a late offensive burst.