April 30, 1991: Thirteen Hits and a Fog

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Date: April 30, 1991
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 6
Padres: 3
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Rick Cerone, Howard Johnson, Dwight Gooden
Key play: Cerone’s RBI double, Johnson’s home run, Gooden’s single

The Mets faced the Padres on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a two-game series. In a game cut short to six and one-half innings due to fog, the Mets collected thirteen hits in a 6-3 win over San Diego.

Mets’ starter Dwight Gooden pitched a perfect top of the first. For the Padres, Derek Lilliquist gave up just a single to Vince Coleman in the bottom half. Gooden hurled a scoreless top of the second and Howard Johnson got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Kevin McReynolds lined out to left fielder Jerald Clark and a double by Rick Cerone brought home Johnson. Kevin Elster was walked intentionally and Gooden flied out to left fielder Mike Aldrete (who had replaced an injured Clark) to end the inning. Dwight set down all three San Diego batters in the top of the third. Lilliquist then held the Mets to a double by Tommy Herr in the bottom half.

Gooden retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. Johnson homered to lead off the bottom of the inning. McReynolds flied out to right fielder Tony Gwynn and a double by Cerone followed. Elster popped out to first baseman Fred McGriff and a single by Gooden drove home Cerone for a 3-0 Mets lead. Lilliquist then threw a called third strike past Coleman for the inning’s final out.

To begin the top of the fifth, McGriff singled and moved to second base on a balk. Benito Santiago hit a two-run homer and Aldrete grounded out to first baseman Dave Magadan. Jim Presley was retired on a grounder to Gooden, who followed up by throwing a called third strike past Shawn Abner to close out the inning. Magadan and Hubie Brooks got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom half. Johnson flied out to Aldrete and a single by McReynolds scored Magadan. On the hit, Brooks was out via a throw by Aldrete to third baseman Presley to finish off the inning.

Gooden hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Cerone singled against San Diego reliever Wes Gardner to open the bottom half. Rick advanced to second base on catcher Santiago’s passed ball and the Padres’ Rich Rodriguez retired Elster on a pop-up to McGriff. Pinch-hitter Mark Carreon drew a walk and Coleman went down on strikes. Herr hit a single on which Cerone came home via an error by Presley. Magadan doubled for the Mets’ thirteenth hit to score Carreon for a 6-2 New York lead. Rodriguez then got Brooks to line out to Presley and close out the inning.

Gwynn drew a walk against Mets’ reliever Pete Schourek to lead off the top of the seventh. McGriff flied out to left fielder McReynolds and a single by Santiago ensued. Pinch-hitter Darrin Jackson reached on third baseman Johnson’s error to load the bases. Against New York’s Alejandro Pena, Presley hit a sacrifice fly to score Gwynn with the third San Diego run. Pena then retired Abner on a grounder to first baseman Magadan to end the inning.

With the Mets coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh, a dense fog came over the field at Shea. The game was stopped and eventually discontinued. Still, the Mets had victory with a solid hitting attack.