August 8, 1997: Bohanon Leads Three-Hitter Over Astros

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Date: August 8, 1997
Mets starter: Brian Bohanon
Mets: 6
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Brian Bohanon
Key player(s): Brian Bohanon, Brian McRae, Alex Ochoa, Carlos Baerga
Key play: Ochoa’s double, Baerga’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Astros on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game overlapping weekend series. Brian Bohanon and two relievers teamed up for a three-hitter in a 6-1 Mets win over Houston.

With one out in the top of the first inning, James Mouton homered against Bohanon to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. Jeff Bagwell grounded out to second baseman Carlos Baerga and a fly ball by Luis Gonzalez was caught by left fielder Butch Huskey for the third out. Houston’s Shane Reynolds pitched a scoreless bottom half and Bohanon set down the side in order in the top of the second. Edgardo Alfonzo got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Huskey flied out to center fielder Mouton and a double by Alex Ochoa drove home Alfonzo with the tying run. Reynolds then got Rey Ordonez to ground out to second baseman Craig Biggio and end the inning.

Tim Bogar singled to lead off the top of the third. Reynolds’ sacrifice bunt advanced Bogar to second base and Biggio drew a walk. Mouton followed with a ground ball to Baerga for an inning-ending double play. Brian McRae hit a triple with one out in the bottom half. Baerga singled to score McRae and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. John Olerud hit a single on which Baerga moved to third. Reynolds then got Todd Hundley on a grounder to Biggio for a double play that closed out the inning.

Bohanon retired all three Astros batters in the top of the fourth. Alfonzo and Huskey got back-to-back singles to begin the bottom half. Ochoa drew a walk that loaded the bases and Alfonzo came home on a third strike to Ordonez that got away. Bohanon followed with a sacrifice fly to score Huskey and send Ochoa to third base. Reynolds balked to bring home Ochoa and a single by McRae ensued. Baerga got an infield single on which McRae went to third via an error by Biggio. Olerud singled to plate McRae with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Houston reliever Jose Lima then struck out Hundley to finish off the inning.

Bohanon hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Lima set down the Mets in order in the bottom half and Mouton singled for the Astros’ third hit with two outs in the top of the sixth. Bagwell followed with a force play ground ball to third baseman Alfonzo to end the inning and Ordonez singled to open the bottom half. Rey was caught stealing on catcher Brad Ausmus’s throw to shortstop Bogar. Bohanon went down on strikes and McRae singled to center field. Lima then fanned Baerga for the inning’s final out.

Bohanon retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Houston’s Jose Cabrera pitched a scoreless bottom half and Ausmus drew a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth. Bogar lined out to Huskey and a strikeout of J. R. Phillips followed. Biggio walked and Mouton reached on an error by Alfonzo to load the bases. Bohanon was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Greg McMichael, who got Bagwell to hit an inning-ending force play grounder to Alfonzo. For the Astros, reliever Billy Wagner yielded just a double to Ordonez in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Cory Lidle retired Gonzalez on a ground ball to first baseman Olerud to begin the top of the ninth. Thomas Howard flied out to Huskey. Lidle then struck out Sean Berry to end the game. The Mets had a three-hit victory to start the series.