August 11, 1992: Hillman's First Major League Win

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Date: August 11, 1992
Mets starter: Eric Hillman
Mets: 2
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Eric Hillman
Key player(s): Eric Hillman, Eddie Murray, Mackey Sasser
Key play: Murray’s and Sasser’s singles in 3rd

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The team was looking to end a seven-game losing streak in front of its home crowd. Eric Hillman pitched eight shutout innings and recorded his first major league win in a 2-0 Mets victory over Pittsburgh.

Hillman and Bucs’ starter Doug Drabek each started the game with two scoreless innings. In the top of the third, Drabek led off with a single and Alex Cole reached safely on a fielder’s choice ground ball. Jay Bell was retired on a pop-up to catcher Mackey Sasser. John Wehner then hit a grounder to shortstop Dick Schofield for an inning-ending double play.

Chris Donnels reached on an error by third baseman Jeff King with two outs in the bottom of the third. Daryl Boston followed with a single to advance Donnels to third base. A single by Eddie Murray scored Donnels for a 1-0 Mets lead. Sasser got an infield single to bring home Boston with another New York run. Bill Pecota hit into a force play to end the inning. Hillman shut down the Pirates despite singles by Lloyd McClendon and Cecil Espy in the top of the fourth. Drabek then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

In the top of the fifth, Hillman held the Bucs to a single by Gary Varsho. Drabek set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and Eric pitched a perfect top of the sixth. The Mets had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom half. Hillman grounded out to first baseman Wehner to end the inning. Eric shut down the Pirates in the top of the seventh. Donnels and Boston got consecutive one-out singles in the bottom of the inning. Drabek then struck out Murray and got Dave Gallagher on a force play grounder for the third out.

Hillman retired all three Pittsburgh batters in the top of the eighth inning. Drabek pitched a scoreless bottom half. In the top of the ninth, Mets’ reliever John Franco retired McClendon on a ground ball to third baseman Donnels. Franco followed up with a strikeout of King and got Espy to ground out to Donnels, ending the game. The Mets had broken a seven-game skid and Hillman had his first major league win.