August 22, 1997: Mets Come Back to Beat Padres

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Date: August 22, 1997
Mets starter: Pete Harnisch
Mets: 9
Padres: 8
Winning pitcher: John Franco
Key player(s): Todd Hundley, John Olerud
Key play: Olerud's double, Hundley's homer, Baerga's walk

The Mets began a series with the Padres on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. Twice during the game, the Mets came from behind to tie it up. They eventually won, 9-8, in 11 innings.

The Padres got three runs off Mets' starter Pete Harnisch in the first two innings. Four San Diego singles in the first brought home two runs and Tony Gwynn's sacrifice fly scored Quilvio Veras in the second. The Mets got a run off the Padres' Joey Hamilton on Todd Hundley's single to score Matt Franco in the bottom of the first.

Harnisch walked the first two San Diego batters in the top of the fifth. Cory Lidle came in to relieve and walked Greg Vaughn to load the bases. Lidle then gave up a single to John Flaherty that scored Ken Caminiti. Hamilton followed with a sacrifice fly that brought in Mark Sweeney to make it a 5-1 Padres' lead.

Carlos Baerga and pinch-hitter Luis Lopez began the seventh with singles for the Mets. Both had moved to second and third before Rey Ordonez singled to score Baerga. Butch Huskey then singled to bring in Lopez as Hamilton was taken out of the game. Facing reliever Dario Veras, Matt Franco delivered a two-out double to score Ordonez and Huskey to tie the game, 5-5.

San Diego put two runners on base with two out in the top of the ninth. Mel Rojas came in to relieve Yorkis Perez and gave up a single to Flaherty that brought home Archi Cianfrocco with the go-ahead run. Later, Quilvio Veras got a bases-loaded single off Rojas for two more Padre runs. The score was 8-5 as the game went into the bottom of the ninth.

Trevor Hoffman came in to pitch for San Diego. He struck out Huskey to begin the ninth before allowing a double to Carl Everett. Following a ground out, John Olerud hit a double to bring home Everett and reduce the San Diego lead to two runs. Hundley then hit a clutch two-run homer to tie the game, 8-8. The Mets had come back a second time to send the game to extra innings.

Rojas and John Franco held the Padres scoreless in the 10th and 11th innings. The Mets then loaded the bases on two walks and an error against the Padres' Doug Bochtler in the bottom of the eleventh. Will Cunnane relieved Bochtler and walked Baerga to force home Huskey with the winning run. It was a dramatic victory for the Mets that included two comebacks in the late innings.