August 30, 1991: Twelve Strikeouts Bury Reds

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Date: August 30, 1991
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 3
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): David Cone, Charlie O'Brien, Keith Miller
Key play: O’Brien’s home run, Miller’s single

The Mets faced the Reds on a Friday night in Cincinnati. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Five Mets pitchers combined for twelve strikeouts in a 3-2 win.

David Cone and the Reds’ Randy Myers each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Cone gave up two singles and a walk and fanned five batters while Myers gave up just a single to Garry Templeton in shutting down the Mets. Amid walks to Dave Magadan and Kevin McReynolds, Myers hurled a scoreless top of the fourth. Paul O’Neill doubled to lead off the bottom half. O’Neill moved to third base on Chris Sabo’s single and came home on a sacrifice fly by Carmelo Martinez for a 1-0 Cincinnati lead. Cone then struck out Jeff Reed to end the inning.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Charlie O'Brien homered to tie the game. Cone followed with a ground ball to second baseman Mariano Duncan for the inning’s final out. In the bottom half, David recorded three strikeouts on nine pitches. Magadan and Mark Carreon got back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the sixth. McReynolds went down on strikes and Howard Johnson singled to score Magadan, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. Trying to advance on the play, Carreon was out via a throw by left fielder Martinez to third baseman Sabo to end the inning. Hal Morris singled to begin the bottom half. Barry Larkin hit a force play grounder to shortstop Templeton and scored the tying run on a double by O’Neill. Sabo was retired on a pop-up to second baseman Gregg Jefferies. Cone then got Martinez to ground out to third baseman Johnson and finish off the inning.

Jefferies drew a walk against Myers to lead off the top of the seventh. Templeton’s sacrifice bunt advanced Jefferies to second base and O’Brien walked. Pinch-hitter Kevin Elster was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Herm Winningham, after which Jefferies went to third. Keith Miller hit a single to bring home Jefferies and put the Mets ahead by a run. Magadan drew a walk to load the bases and Reds’ reliever Ted Power retired pinch-hitter Mackey Sasser on an inning-ending line drive to first baseman Morris. New York’s Tim Burke then threw a called third strike past Duncan to end a scoreless bottom half.

Power set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Morris got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Larkin popped out to Burke and pinch-hitter Eric Davis singled against Mets’ reliever Tony Castillo. New York’s Jeff Innis fanned Sabo and the Mets’ John Franco got pinch-hitter Bill Doran on a force play grounder to Johnson to close out the inning. Cincinnati reliever Norm Charlton then hurled a perfect top of the ninth.

Pinch-hitter Billy Hatcher flied out to right fielder Sasser to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Chris Jones was struck out. Franco then retired Stan Jefferson on a ground ball to Templeton for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.