April 9, 1996: Mets Beat Reds With 12-Hit Attack

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Date: April 9, 1996
Mets starter: Jason Isringhausen
Mets: 12
Reds: 5
Winning pitcher: Jason Isringhausen
Key player(s): Todd Hundley, Lance Johnson, Rico Brogna
Key play: Hundley’s home run, Mets’ doubles in 5th and 6th, singles and walks in 9th

The Mets faced the Reds on a Tuesday night in Cincinnati. The teams played the second of three games in a series. The Mets hammered out twelve hits in a 12-5 win.

Reds’ starter John Smiley pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. The Mets’ Jason Isringhausen hurled a perfect bottom half and Smiley retired the side in order in the top of the second. Reggie Sanders singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Sanders advanced to second base on Hal Morris’s ground out to shortstop Rey Ordonez and to third after Willie Greene’s line out to center fielder Lance Johnson. Mike Kelly hit a double to score Sanders for a 1-0 Reds lead. Isringhausen then got Joe Oliver on a ground ball to third baseman Jeff Kent to end the inning.

Smiley gave up only a triple to Johnson in the top of the third. Isringhausen set down the Reds 1-2-3 in the bottom half and Kent got a two-out single in the top of the fourth. Todd Hundley followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Jose Vizcaino grounded out to first baseman Morris to finish off the inning and the Reds loaded the bases with none out in the bottom half. Greene hit a double play grounder to Ordonez on which Barry Larkin came home with the tying run. Kelly walked and stole second before an intentional walk to Oliver reloaded the bases. Isringhausen then threw a called third strike past Smiley for the inning’s final out.

To open the top of the fifth, Ordonez singled and moved to second base on a throwing error by third baseman Greene. Rey went to third on Isringhusen’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a double by Johnson. Bernard Gilkey doubled to drive home Johnson and scored on Rico Brogna’s double for a 5-2 Mets lead. Smiley retired Butch Huskey and Kent on consecutive grounders to shortstop Larkin for the last two outs of the inning and Lenny Harris hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Larkin was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Huskey, who then threw to first baseman Brogna for an out on Harris and an inning-ending double play.

Hundley drew a walk against Smiley to lead off the top of the sixth. Vizcaino was called out on strikes and Ordonez got an infield single. Isringhausen doubled to score Hundley and increase the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Johnson followed with a ground ball on which Smiley threw to catcher Oliver for an out at home on Ordonez. With Reds’ reliever Johnny Ruffin on the mound facing Gilkey, a passed ball advanced the runners to second and third. Ruffin retired Gilkey on a fly ball to left fielder Vince Coleman to finish off the inning. Isringhausen then yielded just a double to Morris in the bottom half.

Ruffin shut down the Mets in the top of the seventh. Ed Taubensee singled to begin the bottom of the inning. Eric Owens drew a walk and Coleman followed with a force play ground ball to Brogna. Pinch-hitter Jeff Branson grounded out to second baseman Vizcaino to drive home Taubensee and cut the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Isringhausen then got Larkin to ground out to Vizcaino and end the inning.

Cincinnati reliever Xavier Hernandez surrendered only a walk to pinch-hitter Kevin Roberson in the top of the eighth. Sanders drew a walk against the Mets’ Doug Henry to lead off the bottom half. Morris flied out to left fielder Gilkey and a two-run homer by Greene reduced the New York lead to 6-5. Henry retired Kelly on a ground ball to Kent. Mets’ reliever John Franco then got Taubensee to ground out to Ordonez and finish off the inning.

Gilkey reached second base on Greene’s error to begin the top of the ninth. Brogna singled to drive home Gilkey for a 7-5 Mets lead. Hernandez was replaced on the mound by Reds’ reliever Marcus Moore, who issued walks to Carl Everett and Kent to load the bases. Hundley and Vizcaino got consecutive singles to plate Brogna and Everett, respectively. Against Cincinnati’s Jeff Shaw, Ordonez reached second on catcher Taubensee’s error that allowed both Kent and Hundley to score. Franco was called out on strikes and Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Vizcaino with the Mets’ twelfth run of the game. Shaw then fanned Gilkey to close out the inning.

Owens flied out to right fielder Everett to open the bottom of the ninth. Coleman followed with a single to center field. Franco then got Eric Davis to hit a ground ball to Ordonez for a game-ending double play. The Mets had their first road victory of the season.