August 31, 1990: Three-Run 9th Beats Giants

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Date: August 31, 1990
Mets starter: Frank Viola
Mets: 4
Giants: 3
Winning pitcher: Frank Viola
Key player(s): Gregg Jefferies, Kevin McReynolds, Howard Johnson
Key play: Mets’ 3-run rally in 9th

The Mets and Giants played on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 41,239 was on hand for the second game of a four-game series. The Mets rallied with two outs in the ninth inning for an amazing 4-3 win over San Francisco.

Frank Viola and the Giants’ Don Robinson started the game with two scoreless innings. The pitchers allowed a hit, but no runs, in each of the four half-innings. Viola shut down San Francisco again in the top of the third despite singles by Brett Butler and Will Clark. The Mets then took a 1-0 lead on Tim Teufel’s home run leading off the bottom of the inning.

Viola and Robinson each pitched a perfect fourth inning. In the top of the fifth, Butler singled with two outs and went to third base on a single by Greg Litton. Clark hit a single that scored Butler to tie the game. Viola retired Kevin Mitchell for the third out and Robinson set down the Mets 1-2-3 again in the bottom half.

Leading off the top of the sixth, Matt Williams homered to give the Giants a 2-1 lead. Viola retired the next three batters and the Mets failed to score in the bottom of the inning. After a scoreless seventh, Kevin Mitchell led off the top of the eighth with a home run for the third San Francisco run. Robinson retired the Mets in order again in the bottom half and Viola pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Pinch-hitting for Viola, Tom O'Malley flied out to left fielder Mitchell to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Robinson followed up with a strikeout of Daryl Boston. With the Giants an out away from victory, Dave Magadan singled to keep the Mets’ chances alive. Gregg Jefferies followed with a double to score Magadan. Robinson was then replaced by reliever Steve Bedrosian.

After issuing an intentional walk to Darryl Strawberry, Bedrosian faced Kevin McReynolds with the Mets still down to their last out. McReynolds hit a single to center field, scoring Jefferies with the tying run and sending Strawberry to third. Howard Johnson then hit a fly ball single to right field on which Darryl came home. The Mets had a dramatic come-from-behind triumph that was snared from the jaws of defeat.