April 27, 1997: Ordonez Singles in 10th Inning

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Date: April 27, 1997
Mets starter: Armando Reynoso
Mets: 5
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Greg McMichael
Key player(s): Rey Ordonez, Greg McMichael, Alex Ochoa
Key play: Ordonez’s single in 10th

The Mets faced the Expos on a Sunday afternoon in Montreal. The teams concluded a three-game series with an extra-inning finale. Rey Ordonez singled home two runs in the top of the 10th to give the Mets a 5-3 win.

In the top of the first inning, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a one-out double off Expos’ starter Jeff Juden. Alfonzo stole third base and scored on a single by John Olerud. A single by Todd Hundley followed and Juden retired the next two batters. For Montreal, Mike Lansing singled off Mets’ starter Armando Reynoso with one out in the bottom half. An ensuing home run by Rondell White put the Expos ahead, 2-1. David Segui and Henry Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles and Joe Orsulak popped out to catcher Hundley. Reynoso then got Doug Strange to line out to left fielder Carl Everett and end the inning.

Juden and Reynoso each pitched scoreless ball in the second and third innings. In the top of the fourth, Alex Ochoa got a two-out infield single and Manny Alexander was hit by a pitch. Ordonez singled to left field to bring home Ochoa from second base. Reynoso walked to load the bases and Lance Johnson drew a base on balls that forced home Alexander for a 3-2 Mets lead. Juden was then replaced on the mound by Anthony Telford, who retired Alfonzo on a fly ball to center fielder White for the third out.

Rodriguez doubled to open the bottom of the fourth inning. Orsulak grounded out to move Rodriguez to third base and Strange was hit by a pitch. Chris Widger hit a liner to right fielder Ochoa that drove home Rodriguez with the tying run. Telford grounded back to Reynoso for the third out and retired the Mets in order in the top of the fifth. Reynoso then pitched a scoreless bottom half despite a two-out triple by White.

Telford and the Mets’ Ricardo Jordan each pitched a scoreless sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, Montreal’s Dave Veres recorded two strikeouts in shutting down the Mets. New York reliever Greg McMichael fanned all three batters in the bottom of the inning. Ugueth Urbina pitched a perfect top of the eighth for the Expos and McMichael struck out two more batters in a scoreless bottom half. Neither team scored in the ninth inning despite doubles by the Mets’ Steve Bieser and Montreal’s Mark Grudzielanek.

Hundley singled off Expos’ reliever Lee Smith to begin the top of the 10th inning. Pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga popped out and ensuing singles by Ochoa and Alexander loaded the bases. Ordonez delivered a single to right field that scored Hundley and Ochoa to put the Mets ahead by two runs. Following a double steal, Bieser hit a ground ball to shortstop Grudzielanek on which Alexander was thrown out at home. Smith then retired Johnson on a grounder to second baseman Lansing for the third out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco threw a called third strike past White to start the bottom of the 10th. Segui flied out to center fielder Johnson. Franco then got Rodriguez on a line drive to Ochoa that ended the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory to close out the series.