April 8, 1997: Jones and McMichael Five-Hit Dodgers

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Date: April 8, 1997
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Bobby Jones, Greg McMichael, John Olerud, Todd Hundley
Key play: Olerud’s single in 1st, Hundley’s RBIs

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Bobby Jones and Greg McMichael combined on a five-hitter in a 5-3 Mets win.

Lance Johnson got a leadoff single against Dodgers’ starter Ismael Valdez in the top of the first inning. Rey Ordonez was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Brett Butler. Johnson stole second base and came around to score on a single by John Olerud. On his own hit, Olerud advanced to second base via a throw. Olerud moved to third on Todd Hundley’s single and scored on Bernard Gilkey’s force play ground ball to shortstop Greg Gagne for a 2-0 Mets lead. Valdez retired Carlos Baerga on a grounder to second baseman Wilton Guerrero for the third out and Raul Mondesi hit a solo home run against Jones with two outs in the bottom half. Bobby then got Mike Piazza on a pop-up to second baseman Baerga to end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Ordonez got a one-out single in the top of the third. Rey went to third base on Olerud’s double and came home on Hundley’s ground out to Gagne. Gilkey singled to score Olerud and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Baerga popped out to third baseman Todd Zeile to finish off the inning and Jones shut down the Dodgers in the bottom half. With one out in the top of the fourth, Alex Ochoa reached on an error by Gagne and advanced to second on Jones’ sacrifice bunt. Ochoa moved to third on a wild pitch and Johnson drew a walk. Valdez then retired Ordonez on a fly ball to right fielder Mondesi for the inning’s final out.

Piazza hit a single to begin the bottom of the fourth. Eric Karros flied out to right fielder Ochoa and a double by Todd Hollandsworth followed. Zeile lined out to third baseman Butch Huskey and a triple by Gagne plated both Piazza and Hollandsworth, cutting the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Valdez grounded out to Jones to end the inning and gave up only a single to Olerud in the top of the fifth. Jones then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Valdez hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Jones yielded just a single to Karros in the bottom of the inning and Johnson singled against Valdez to open the top of the seventh. Lance went to second base on Ordonez’s sacrifice bunt and to third on a single by Olerud. Against Los Angeles reliever Scott Radinsky, Hundley hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Johnson with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Trying to advance on the play, Olerud was out via a throw by Butler to first baseman Karros for an inning-ending double play. Jones then retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Dodgers’ reliever Darren Dreifort set down all three batters in the top of the eighth. Jones pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Los Angeles’s Todd Worrell retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. McMichael got Piazza on a ground ball to shortstop Ordonez to begin the bottom half. Karros flied out to center fielder Johnson. Greg then retired Hollandsworth on a grounder to first baseman Olerud for the final out of the game. The Mets had a five-hit victory.