April 28, 1989: Hernandez and McReynolds Bury Astros

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Date: April 28, 1989
Mets starter: Sid Fernandez
Mets: 7
Astros: 3
Winning pitcher: Sid Fernandez
Key player(s): Keith Hernandez, Kevin McReynolds, Gregg Jefferies
Key play: Hernandez’s homer and single, McReynolds’ double

The Mets faced the Astros on a Friday night in Houston. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Keith Hernandez and Kevin McReynolds combined for six RBIs in a 7-3 Mets win.

Sid Fernandez and the Astros’ Rick Rhoden each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Dave Magadan singled to lead off the top of the third. Fernandez’s sacrifice bunt moved Magadan to second base and Lenny Dykstra was hit by a pitch. Gregg Jefferies hit a single to drive home Magadan with the first run of the game. Hernandez slugged a home run for a 4-0 Mets lead. Darryl Strawberry flied out to right fielder Kevin Bass and a single by McReynolds ensued. Kevin stole second and Rhoden retired Howard Johnson on a line drive to first baseman Glenn Davis to end the inning. Fernandez then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Rhoden shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth. Fernandez surrendered just a walk to Davis in the bottom of the inning and Hernandez walked against Houston reliever Dan Schatzeder to lead off the top of the fifth. Strawberry drew a walk and came around to score with Hernandez on a double by McReynolds for a 6-0 New York lead. Johnson walked and Gary Carter popped out to Davis. Magadan was retired on a line drive to left fielder Billy Hatcher, who followed up with a throw to second baseman Bill Doran for an out on McReynolds and an inning-ending double play. Fernandez then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Astros’ reliever Bob Forsch yielded just a double to Fernandez in the top of the sixth. Sid retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning and McReynolds got an infield single with one out in the top of the seventh. Johnson singled to advance McReynolds to third base and stole second. Carter popped out to third baseman Ken Caminiti and an intentional walk to Magadan loaded the bases. Forsch then got Fernandez to ground out to Doran and finish off the inning.

Caminiti doubled to begin the bottom of the seventh. Rafael Ramirez and Craig Biggio drew walks to load the bases and Fernandez was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell. Pinch-hitter Craig Reynolds grounded out to McDowell to drive home Caminiti. Gerald Young flied out to left fielder McReynolds and a double by Hatcher brought home Ramirez and Biggio, cutting the Mets’ lead to 6-3. McDowell then retired Doran on a grounder to second baseman Jefferies for the inning’s final out.

Jefferies hit a double against Houston reliever Juan Agosto with one out in the top of the eighth. Hernandez singled to score Jefferies with the Mets’ seventh run. Strawberry hit a single and McReynolds grounded to Caminiti for a double play that closed out the inning. Davis singled to lead off the bottom half. McDowell got Bass to hit a double play ground ball to shortstop Kevin Elster and retired Caminiti on an inning-ending grounder to Jefferies. Agosto then hurled a perfect top of the ninth.

Ramirez grounded out to third baseman Johnson to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Greg Gross was retired on a grounder back to McDowell. Roger then got pinch-hitter Terry Puhl on a ground ball to Elster for the final out of the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.