August 21, 1998: Reynoso and Alfonzo Give Mets Split

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Date: August 21, 1998
Mets starter: Armando Reynoso
Mets: 1
Cardinals: 0
Winning pitcher: Armando Reynoso
Key player(s): Armando Reynoso, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Alfonzo's home run

The Mets face the Cardinals in a doubleheader on a Friday evening. After dropping the opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium, the Mets aimed for a split in the nightcap. Armando Reynoso pitched seven innings of three-hit shutout ball and Edgardo Alfonzo slugged a home run for a 1-0 Mets win over St. Louis.

Reynoso surrendered only a walk to Mark McGwire in the top of the first. With one out in the bottom half, Alfonzo homered against the Cards' Manny Aybar for the first run of the game. Aybar retired John Olerud on a fly ball to right fielder John Mabry and struck out Mike Piazza to end the inning. Ron Gant doubled to open the top of the second. Fernando Tatis was called out on strikes and Tom Lampkin popped out to shortstop Rey Ordonez. Reynoso fanned Aybar for the inning's third out. Aybay then gave up only a walk to Carlos Baerga in the bottom half.

Reynoso limited the Redbirds to a walk to Mabry in the top of the third. Aybar yielded just a single to Alfonzo in the bottom of the inning and Tatis drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth. Tatis stole second base and advanced to third on catcher Piazza's throwing error. Lampkin was walked intentionally and Aybar grounded out to second baseman Baerga to end the inning. The Mets failed to score after loading the bases in the bottom half and Reynoso shut down the Cardinals in the top of the fifth. Aybar then hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Gant singled and moved to third base on a double by Tatis. Lampkin followed with a ground ball on which Gant got caught between bases and was tagged out by third baseman Alfonzo. Pinch-hitter Willie McGee drew a walk to load the bases and Placido Polanco hit a force play grounder to Ordonez that closed out the inning. Brian McRae singled against St. Louis reliever Mark Petkovsek to lead off the bottom half. Todd Hundley was struck out and Baerga hit a single. Ordonez grounded to third baseman Tatis for a force play and Reynoso grounded back to Petkovsek for the inning's final out. Armando set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Petkovsek then retired the Mets on three consecutive ground balls to second baseman Delino DeShields in the bottom half.

Mets' reliever Turk Wendell pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Piazza drew a walk to begin the bottom of the inning. McRae singled and pinch-hitter Tony Phillips got an infield single that loaded the bases. Baerga and Ordonez followed with grounders on which Piazza and McRae were out at home on throws to catcher Lampkin. Petkovsek retired pinch-hitter Matt Franco on a grounder to DeShields to finish off the inning and New York's John Franco threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Pay Kelly to start the top of the ninth. John Franco then got pinch-hitters Brian Jordan and Eli Marrero on ground balls to Alfonzo for the final outs of the game. The Mets had a victory and a doubleheader split.