August 7, 1991: Eleven Singles Bomb Bucs

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Date: August 7, 1991
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 7
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Vince Coleman, Dave Magadan
Key play: Mets’ singles

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 41,542 fans on hand. The Mets hammered out eleven singles and defeated Pittsburgh, 7-1.

Dwight Gooden and the Bucs’ Zane Smith each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Gooden issued two walks and a pair of singles while Smith gave up three singles and retired all other Mets hitters. Gooden set down the side in order in the top of the fifth. Kevin Elster singled to lead off the bottom half. Charlie O'Brien hit a single to advance Elster to third base and Gooden went down on strikes. Vince Coleman and Dave Magadan got singles that drove home Elster and O’Brien, respectively. Gregg Jefferies hit a single to score Coleman and send Magadan to third. Kevin McReynolds followed with a sacrifice fly that brought home Magadan for a 4-0 Mets lead. Smith then struck out Howard Johnson to end the inning.

Gooden shut down the Pirates in the top of the sixth. Hubie Brooks singled against Pittsburgh reliever Vicente Palacios to begin the bottom half. Elster hit a single and O’Brien drew a walk to load the bases. Gooden singled to bring home Brooks and Elster, increasing the Mets’ lead to 6-0. Bucs’ reliever Neal Heaton got Coleman to hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Bobby Bonilla. A sacrifice fly by Magadan plated O’Brien with the seventh New York run of the game. Heaton then got Jefferies on a force play grounder to shortstop Jay Bell that ended the inning.

Gooden retired the side in order in the top of the seventh. Pirates’ reliever Bill Landrum hurled a perfect bottom half and pinch-hitter Cecil Espy singled to lead off the top of the eighth. Orlando Merced hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Johnson and a fly ball by Bell was caught by right fielder Daryl Boston. Andy Van Slyke drew a walk and Bonilla hit a single to drive home Merced. Gooden retired pinch-hitter Curt Wilkerson on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Jefferies. Pittsburgh’s Stan Belinda then set down all three batters in the bottom half.

Gary Varsho grounded back to Mets’ reliever John Franco to begin the top of the ninth inning. Tom Prince was retired on a ground ball to shortstop Elster. Franco then got Jose Lind to ground out to Johnson and end the game. The Mets had a victory with a hitting effort comprised exclusively of singles.