August 31, 1991: Mets Come Back to Beat Reds

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Date: August 31, 1991
Mets starter: Pete Schourek
Mets: 8
Reds: 7
Winning pitcher: John Franco
Key player(s): Keith Miller, Howard Johnson, Kevin Elster
Key play: Johnson’s two home runs, Franco’s wild pitch, Miller’s home run

The Mets and Reds faced each other on a Saturday night in Cincinnati. The teams played the second game of three at Riverfront Stadium. After trailing by five runs, the Mets came from behind for an 8-7 win in 10 innings.

Cincinnati’s Mo Sanford and the Mets’ Pete Schourek each pitched a scoreless first inning. In the second, Sanford retired the Mets in order and the Reds loaded the bases with none out against Schourek. A double by Paul O’Neill scored Chris Sabo and Eric Davis with the first two runs of the game. Schourek struck out Joe Oliver and retired Sanford on a line drive to first baseman Dave Magadan. Mariano Duncan doubled to bring home Carmelo Martinez. Schourek walked Hal Morris to reload the bases and reliever Jeff Innis walked Barry Larkin to force home O’Neill and make it a 4-0 Cincinnati lead. Sabo then hit into a force play to end the inning.

Sanford shut down the Mets in the top of the third. Davis singled to open the bottom of the inning and went to third base on an ensuing single by Martinez. Innis threw a called third strike past O’Neill and gave up a single to Oliver that scored Davis. After Sanford’s sacrifice bunt, Innis got Duncan on a ground ball to shortstop Howard Johnson to end the inning. Johnson led off the top of the fourth with a home run. Sanford then retired the next three Mets batters.

Martinez hit a two-out single to score Sabo and increase the Reds’ lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tony Castillo came in to relieve Innis and retired O’Neill on a fly ball to left fielder Kevin McReynolds for the third out. Daryl Boston walked to lead off the top of the fifth and advanced to second on Chris Donnels’ ground out. Sanford fanned Terry McDaniel and yielded a single to Keith Miller that plated Boston. Magadan drew a walk and Johnson flied out to right fielder O’Neill to end the inning. Castillo then shut down Cincinnati in the bottom half.

Cincinnati reliever Ted Power walked McReynolds to start the top of the sixth. Mackey Sasser lined out to left fielder Martinez and pinch-hitter Mark Carreon singled to move McReynolds to third. Boston hit a single to bring home McReynolds and cut the Reds’ lead to 6-3. Donnels flied out and McDaniel doubled to score Carreon. Power retired Miller on a grounder to shortstop Larkin for the third out of the inning. Mets’ reliever Tim Burke then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Magadan hit a leadoff single against Cincinnati’s Norm Charlton in the top of the seventh. Johnson followed with his second home run to tie the game at 6-6. McReynolds struck out and Sasser reached second base on an error by first baseman Morris. Charlton retired Carreon on a grounder to third baseman Sabo and walked pinch-hitter Rick Cerone. As a pinch-hitter for Donnels, Kevin Elster singled to score Sasser and put the Mets ahead by a run. Burke struck out to end the inning and then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Reds’ reliever Milt Hill shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth inning. Burke again held Cincinnati without a run in the bottom half. Hill retired three straight batters after a walk to Sasser in the top of the ninth. Mets’ reliever John Franco retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Bill Doran singled to left field and O’Neill’s double advanced pinch-runner Herm Winningham to third. With Oliver at the plate, Franco threw a wild pitch that allowed Winningham to score the tying run. John then got Oliver on an inning-ending ground out to shortstop Elster.

To start the top of the 10th inning, Reds’ reliever Rob Dibble struck out Charlie O'Brien. Miller followed with a home run to regain the lead for the Mets. Dibble fanned Magadan and Johnson to bring a close to the inning. Franco then pitched a perfect bottom half to end the game. The Mets had a comeback victory.