July 15, 1994: Bonilla Lifts Mets Over Padres

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Date: July 15, 1994
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 7
Padres: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Bobby Bonilla, Bobby Jones, Todd Hundley
Key play: Bonilla’s homer and double

The Mets faced the Padres in a doubleheader on a Friday evening at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of the twinbill to begin a four-game weekend series. Bobby Bonilla drove in four runs to lead the Mets to a 7-3 win over San Diego.

Mets’ starter Bobby Jones pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Against the Padres’ Andy Ashby in the bottom half, Jose Vizcaino got a leadoff single and advanced to third base on a single by Todd Hundley. Bonilla followed with a double play ground ball to shortstop Luis Lopez on which Vizcaino scored the first run of the game. Kevin McReynolds popped out to first baseman Eddie Williams to end the inning and Jones yielded only a double to Lopez in a scoreless top of the second. Ashby then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Jones shut down the Padres in the top of the third inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Vizcaino was hit by a pitch and Hundley followed with a single to left field. Bonilla slugged a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. McReynolds flied out to left fielder Phil Plantier to end the inning and Tony Gwynn singled to open the top of the fourth. Jones retired the next two San Diego batters and issued a walk to Lopez. Bobby then got Ray McDavid on a fly ball to left fielder McReynolds for the inning’s final out.

Jeff Kent got a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Rico Brogna hit a double and Jim Lindeman was walked intentionally to load the bases. Jones’s ensuing sacrifice bunt scored Kent with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Ashby got Vizcaino on an inning-ending grounder to Williams and a single by Brad Ausmus opened the top of the fifth. Pinch-hitter Ricky Gutierrez hit a ground ball to second baseman Kent for a double play. Bip Roberts reached on Kent’s error and advanced to third base on a single by Scott Livingstone. Gwynn singled to bring home Roberts with the Padres’ first run and a fly ball by Williams was caught by McReynolds to close out the inning. San Diego reliever Tim Mauser then held the Mets to a single by Bonilla in the bottom half.

Jones set down the Padres 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Brogna doubled against San Diego’s Jeff Tabaka with one out in the bottom of the inning. Rico moved to third base on catcher Ausmus’s passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lindeman. Tabaka fanned Jones for the third out and Ausmus singled to lead off the top of the seventh. Bill Bean got a pinch-hit double and advanced to third on Roberts’ ground out to Jones that plated Ausmus. Livingstone followed with an infield single on which Bean stayed at third. Mets’ reliever Eric Gunderson then got Gwynn on a ground ball to Vizcaino for an inning-ending double play.

Padres’ reliever Doug Brocail issued a one-out walk to Hundley in the bottom of the seventh inning. An ensuing double by Bonilla scored Hundley for a 7-2 Mets lead. Brocail got McReynolds to fly out to center fielder McDavid and retired Joe Orsulak on a pop-up to third baseman Livingstone to finish off the inning. With one out in the top of the eighth, Plantier hit a solo homer against the Mets’ Josias Manzanillo. Lopez took a called third strike and McDavid hit a grounder to Kent for the inning’s third out. San Diego reliever Pedro Martinez then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Ausmus grounded out to Vizcaino to begin the top of the ninth inning. Craig Shipley was also retired on a grounder to Vizcaino. Manzanillo then struck out Roberts to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the twi-night doubleheader.