April 29, 1994: Three Runs in 8th Beat Dodgers

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Date: April 29, 1994
Mets starter: Bret Saberhagen
Mets: 6
Dodgers: 4
Winning pitcher: Bret Saberhagen
Key player(s): Bobby Bonilla, Todd Hundley, Jose Vizcaino
Key play: Bonilla’s double, Hundley’s single, Snyder’s error

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 6-4 win over Los Angeles.

Brett Butler got an infield single against Mets’ starter Bret Saberhagen to open the top of the first. Jose Offerman popped out to shortstop Jose Vizcaino and a fly ball by Mike Piazza was caught by center fielder Ryan Thompson. Tim Wallach hit a double to drive home Butler with the first run of the game. Henry Rodriguez doubled to score Wallach for a 2-0 Dodgers lead. Saberhagen retired Eric Karros on a ground ball to third baseman Bobby Bonilla for the third out. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases against Los Angeles’s Tom Candiotti in the bottom half.

Following a scoreless second, Saberhagen shut down the Dodgers in the top of the third. Vizcaino singled to begin the bottom of the inning. Jeromy Burnitz reached on an error by third baseman Wallach and a single by McReynolds brought home Vizcaino. Bonilla doubled to score Burnitz and tie the game at 2-2. Jeff Kent went down on strikes and David Segui popped out to Wallach. Candiotti then got Thompson to ground out to shortstop Offerman and end the inning.

After pitching a scoreless top of the fourth, Saberhagen singled with one out in the bottom half. Bret advanced to second base on Vizcaino’s ground out to Candiotti and scored on Burnitz’s single for a 3-2 Mets lead. Kevin McReynolds flied out to right fielder Rodriguez to close out the inning and a walk to Butler opened the bottom half. Butler moved to second on Offerman’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a single by Piazza to retie the game. With Wallach at bat, Piazza was caught stealing on catcher Todd Hundley’s throw to second baseman Kent. Wallach drew a walk and Saberhagen fanned Rodriguez for the inning’s final out. Candiotti then gave up only a single to Bonilla in the bottom half.

Leading off the top of the sixth, Karros homered to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Chris Gwynn hit a single and Jeff Treadway fouled out to Bonilla. Candiotti’s sacrifice bunt advanced Gwynn to second base and Butler was retired on an inning-ending pop-up to Vizcaino. Candiotti hurled a perfect bottom half and Saberhagen yielded just a single to Offerman in the top of the seventh. Candiotti then set down the Mets in order once again in the bottom of the inning.

Saberhagen retired the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Los Angeles reliever Darren Dreifort struck out Kent to begin the bottom half. Segui drew a walk and the Dodgers’ Gary Wayne hit pinch-hitter Joe Orsulak with a pitch. Hundley singled to drive home pinch-runner Tim Bogar and tie the game at 4-4. Pinch-hitter John Cangelosi walked to load the bases and Todd Worrell came in to pitch for Los Angeles. Vizcaino hit a ground ball on which second baseman Cory Snyder made an error. Orsulak and Hundley both scored on the play for a two-run Mets lead. Worrell then fanned both Burnitz and McReynolds to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco struck out Mitch Webster to start the top of the ninth. Butler hit a single and Offerman flied out to center fielder Cangelosi. Franco then got Piazza on a force play grounder to Kent for the final out of the game. The Mets had a comeback victory to begin the weekend series.