August 19, 1990: Mets Hold Off Giants in Hitters Duel

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Date: August 19, 1990
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 10
Giants: 9
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Kevin McReynolds, Ernest Riles
Key play: McReynolds' two homers, Riles’ grand slam

The Mets faced the Giants on a Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. The teams collected thirteen hits each in the finale of a three-game series. The Mets stopped a big Giants comeback attempt and emerged with a 10-9 win.

Dwight Gooden and San Francisco’s Mike LaCoss each pitched one-hit scoreless ball in the first and second innings. In the top of the third, Gooden led off with a single and Daryl Boston followed with a force play ground ball to second baseman Robby Thompson. Boston stole second base and moved to third on Dave Magadan’s single to left field. Gregg Jefferies reached on an error by center fielder Brett Butler that allowed Boston to score the first run of the game. LaCoss got Darryl Strawberry on a grounder to Thompson for an inning-ending double play. Gooden then limited the Giants to a single by Jose Uribe in a scoreless bottom half.

A walk to Howard Johnson opened the top of the fourth. Kevin McReynolds followed with a two-run homer to increase the Mets lead to 3-0. LaCoss retired Kelvin Torve on a pop-up to third baseman Matt Williams and got Mackey Sasser to ground out to shortstop Uribe. Gooden singled and Boston hit a grounder to first baseman Will Clark for the final out of the inning. In the bottom half, Kevin Mitchell drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third base on an ensuing double by Williams. Terry Kennedy doubled to bring home Mitchell and Williams for the Giants’ first two runs. Gooden then set down the next three San Francisco batters to finish off the inning.

Magadan drew a walk to begin the top of the fifth. Jefferies doubled to drive home Magadan and was out at third base on a relay throw by Thompson to Williams. Strawberry hit a single and moved to third on a double by Johnson. McReynolds followed with a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 7-2. Giants’ reliever Rick Rodriguez came on to pitch and got Torve to line out to Butler. Rodriguez retired Sasser on a fly ball to right fielder Mike Kingery to end the inning. Gooden then held the Giants to a leadoff single and a stolen base by Butler in the bottom half.

Rodriguez issued a walk to Boston to open the top of the sixth inning. An ensuing double by Magadan plated Boston with the Mets’ eighth run of the game. Jefferies hit a grounder on which Magadan was caught in a rundown and tagged out by Williams. Strawberry singled to advance Jefferies to second base and Gregg came home on a single by Johnson. McReynolds singled to score Strawberry for a 10-2 Mets lead. San Francisco reliever Mark Thurmond entered the game and issued a walk to Torve. Thurmond then got Sasser to hit a ground ball back to the mound for the inning’s final out.

Williams drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kennedy singled and Thompson was called out on strikes. An ensuing walk to Uribe loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Ernest Riles stepped up to the plate and slugged a grand slam home run. Gooden was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Bob Ojeda, who gave up a single to Butler. Ojeda followed up by getting pinch-hitter Greg Litton to hit a grounder to third baseman Magadan for an inning-ending double play. Giants’ reliever Francisco Oliveras then pitched a perfect top of the seventh.

Clark hit a double to begin the bottom of the seventh inning. Mitchell got an infield single and Mets’ reliever Alejandro Pena came in to pitch. Pena struck out Williams and retired Gary Carter on a pop-up to catcher Orlando Mercado. Thompson singled to drive home Clark and a single by Uribe scored Mitchell to cut the Mets’ lead to 10-8. Pena got pinch-hitter Bill Bathe on a force play grounder to second baseman Jefferies to end the inning and San Francisco’s Steve Bedrosian shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth. Mets’ reliever John Franco then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Bedrosian retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. Mitchell homered for the Giants’ ninth run to start the bottom of the inning. Williams grounded out to Magadan and a walk to Carter ensued. Pinch-runner Rick Parker stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch as Thompson was walked. Franco then got Uribe on a ground ball to shortstop Johnson for a double play that ended the game. The Mets had held on for a victory as the Giants’ rally fell short.