April 7, 1998: Huskey and Leiter Beat Cubs

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Date: April 7, 1998
Mets starter: Al Leiter
Mets: 3
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Al Leiter
Key player(s): Al Leiter, Butch Huskey
Key play: Huskey’s home run, Leiter’s double

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played a two-hour and fifty-two-minute game. Butch Huskey and Al Leiter combined for three RBIs in a 3-2 Mets win.

Cubs’ starter Geremi Gonzalez yielded only a single to Bernard Gilkey in the top of the first inning. Leiter pitched a scoreless bottom half and Huskey hit a home run to lead off the top of the second. Gonzalez retired the next three batters on infield ground balls to close out the inning and Leiter gave up just a single to Matt Mieske in the bottom half. Carlos Baerga got a two-out single in the top of the third. Gilkey singled and Gonzalez struck out John Olerud to end the inning. Leiter then surrendered just a walk to Jeff Blauser in the bottom half.

Alberto Castillo drew a walk with two outs in the top of the fourth. Rey Ordonez singled and came around to score with Castillo on a double by Leiter for a 3-0 Mets lead. Edgardo Alfonzo was retired on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Kevin Orie, who singled to lead off the bottom half. Mieske reached on third baseman Alfonzo’s error and Scott Servais hit a single to load the bases. Mickey Morandini was called out on strikes and Gonzalez hit a force play grounder to shortstop Ordonez. On the play, first baseman Olerud made an error that allowed Orie to score. Leiter then fanned Jose Hernandez for the inning’s third out.

Gonzalez gave up only a double to Olerud in the top of the fifth. Blauser drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa got back-to-back singles to load the bases and Orie went down on strikes. Mieske hit a force play ground ball to Ordonez that plated Blauser with the Cubs’ second run of the game. Leiter retired Servais on a grounder to Alfonzo that ended the inning and Gonzalez held the Mets to a double by Ordonez in the top of the sixth. New York reliever Greg McMichael then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Cubs’ reliever Marc Pisciotta gave up only a walk to Alfonzo in the top of the seventh. McMichael set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Pisciotta did the same in the top of the eighth. McMichael and the Mets’ Dennis Cook combined for a scoreless bottom half and Chicago’s Terry Adams pitched a perfect top of the ninth. To begin the bottom of the inning, New York’s John Franco retired both pinch-hitter Manny Alexander and Hernandez on infield ground balls. Blauser singled and Franco got Grace on a force play grounder to Ordonez for the final out of the game. The Mets had a solid victory.