August 6, 1998: Mets Recover to Defeat Giants

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Date: August 6, 1998
Mets starter: Masato Yoshii
Mets: 9
Giants: 8
Winning pitcher: Turk Wendell
Key player(s): John Olerud, Brian McRae, Luis Lopez
Key play: Home runs, McRae’s RBI single, Lopez’s walk in 9th

The Mets and Giants faced each other on a Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams combined for 29 hits, including six home runs, to close out a three-game series. After squandering a lead, the Mets rebounded for a 9-8 victory over San Francisco.

In the top of the first inning, Mets’ starter Masato Yoshii issued a walk to leadoff hitter Marvin Benard. An ensuing single by Bill Mueller advanced Benard to third base. Barry Bonds followed with a single to score Benard for the first run of the game. Yoshii retired the next two batters and gave up a single to Stan Javier that brought home Mueller. Rich Aurelia struck out to end the inning and Orel Hershiser pitched a scoreless bottom half to hold up the Giants’ 2-0 lead.

Yoshii shut down San Francisco on one hit from the second inning to the fifth. Masato walked Benard again in the second and yielded a fourth-inning double to Aurelia, but set down all other Giants batters. In the bottom of the fourth, Todd Hundley hit a double for the Mets’ fifth hit of the game. Still, they were unable to score any runs against Hershiser.

Rey Ordonez got a leadoff double for the Mets’ sixth hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Yoshii struck out, Rey moved to third base on Tony Phillips’ single. Edgardo Alfonzo followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Hershiser then struck out John Olerud and retired Mike Piazza on a fly ball to center fielder Javier for the final two outs.

Jeff Kent got a single to open the top of the sixth inning. Yoshii recorded outs on each of the next three San Francisco hitters and Brian McRae opened the bottom half with a home run. Masato pitched a perfect top of the seventh before Phillips homered off Giants’ reliever Alvin Morman to begin the bottom half. Later in the inning, Olerud hit a solo home run for a 6-2 Mets lead. Morman then completed the inning with no further scoring.

In the top of the eighth, Mueller got a leadoff single and Bonds hit an ensuing double. Dennis Cook replaced Yoshii and gave up a three-run homer to Kent. Cook recorded two outs before yielding a single to Aurelia and a double to Brent Mayne. Pinch-hitter Charle Hayes followed with a three-run homer off reliever Greg McMichael to give San Francisco an 8-6 lead. Benard hit a single before McMichael got Mueller on a line drive to first baseman Olerud to end the inning.

Giants’ reliever John Johnstone walked Luis Lopez to start the bottom of the eighth. Carlos Baerga followed with a pinch-hit infield single. For San Francisco, Robb Nen came in to pitch and threw a wild pitch that advanced the runners to second and third. Lopez came home on Jorge Fabregas’s ground out and Nen retired the next two batters. The Giants then loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth, but Turk Wendell struck out Aurelia and Mayne to end the inning with no runs scored.

Olerud singled to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitting for Wendell, Matt Franco hit a single on which Olerud went to third base. McRae followed with another single to score Olerud and tie the game at 8-8. Lenny Harris was given an intentional walk to load the bases and Nen was removed from the game.

Reliever Jose Mesa came in to pitch for San Francisco. Mesa issued a walk to Lopez that forced home Franco to end the game. With runs in each of the last five innings, the Mets came up with a win despite surrendering an earlier lead.