August 7, 1996: Five-Run Innings Beat Cubs

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Date: August 7, 1996
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 11
Cubs: 7
Winning pitcher: Jerry DiPoto
Key player(s): Lance Johnson, Rey Ordonez, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Alfonzo's single & Ordonez's triple in 9th

The Mets and Cubs concluded a three-game series on a Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Trying to avoid being swept, the Mets came up with two five-run innings against the Cubs pitching for a come-from-behind win. The final score was 11-7.

Lance Johnson led off the game with a home run off Chicago starter Amaury Telemaco. The Cubs came back in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer by Sammy Sosa off Bobby Jones. In the fourth, two-run blasts by Luis Gonzalez and Leo Gomez extended the Chicago lead to 6-1. Jones was then removed for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth inning.

In the sixth, Johnson led off with his second homer off Telemaco. Bernard Gilkey got a one-out single and stole second base before scoring on Chris Jones' single off reliever Turk Wendell. After Roberto Petagine was hit by a pitch, Brent Mayne doubled off Larry Casian to bring home Jones to make it a 6-4 game.

Petagine scored on Edgardo Alfonzo's single off Kent Bottenfield. Mayne also tried to score, but was out at the plate on a throw from center fielder Scott Bullett. On the play, Cubs' catcher Scott Servais was injured and was replaced by Mike Hubbard. Alfonzo then came home on a single by Rey Ordonez that was misplayed by right fielder Sosa to tie the game, 6-6.

The Cubs grabbed the lead on a solo homer by Hubbard off Mets' reliever Jerry DiPoto in the bottom of the eighth. In the ninth, Johnson led off with a double against Terry Adams and moved to third base on an out. Gilkey was walked intentionally before Adams' wild pitch allowed Johnson to score the tying run for the Mets. Jones then drew a walk and Bob Patterson came in to pitch for Chicago.

Pinch-hitter Alex Ochoa popped up to shortstop Jose Hernandez for the second out of the inning. Carlos Baerga, batting for DiPoto, drew a walk to load the bases. Alfonzo got an infield single to bring home Gilkey and give the Mets an 8-7 lead. Ordonez then tripled to send home three more New York runs.

John Franco retired the Cubs in order in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets had a sweep-preventing victory by coming back with their second five-run inning of the game.