July 16, 1994: Franco Sets Mets Save Record

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Date: July 16, 1994
Mets starter: Jason Jacome
Mets: 5
Padres: 4
Winning pitcher: Jason Jacome
Key player(s): Todd Hundley, Jason Jacome, John Franco
Key play: Hundley’s two-run single in 1st, Franco’s strikeout of Williams in 9th

The Mets faced the Padres on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the third game of a four-game weekend series. John Franco set a record with his 108th save as a Met in the team’s 5-4 win over San Diego.

Mets’ starter Jason Jacome opened the game by retiring Bip Roberts on a ground ball to shortstop Jose Vizcaino. Craig Shipley also grounded out to Vizcaino. Tony Gwynn followed with a double and Eddie Williams drew a walk. Jacome then got Phil Clark to hit a force play grounder to end the inning.

In the bottom of the first, Vizcaino led off with a single against San Diego starter Scott Sanders. Padres’ shortstop Luis Lopez made an error on Joe Orsulak’s ground ball. An ensuing single by Bobby Bonilla scored Vizcaino for the first run of the game. A walk to Kevin McReynolds loaded the bases with none out. Todd Hundley singled to bring home Orsulak and Bonilla for a 3-0 Mets lead. Sanders then retired the next three batters to end the inning.

Jacome and Sanders each pitched scoreless ball in the second and third innings. In the top of the fourth, Jacome gave up consecutive singles to Clark and Lopez with one out. Jason responded by retiring Ricky Gutierrez on a pop-up to second baseman Jeff Kent and striking out Brad Ausmus to close out a scoreless inning. Sanders then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

After a scoreless fifth inning, Gwynn hit his second double to begin the top of the sixth. Williams also doubled to score Gwynn for the first San Diego run. Jacome retired Clark on a line drive to first baseman Rico Brogna and yielded a single to Lopez. Gutierrez hit a fly ball to right fielder David Segui on which Williams came home from third. Ausmus then singled and Sanders hit into a force play to end the inning.

Brogna hit a double off Sanders with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Fernando Vina doubled to score Brogna and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-2. Vizcaino flied out to center fielder Roberts for the final out of the inning. Mets’ reliever Roger Mason shut down the Padres in the top of the seventh. Sanders then pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning.

For the Mets, Josias Manzanillo struck out two batters in pitching a perfect top of the eighth. Segui hit a one-out triple off San Diego’s Doug Brocail in the bottom half. A sacrifice fly by Ryan Thompson plated Segui with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Brocail then retired pinch-hitter Jim Lindeman on a pop-up to second baseman Gutierrez for the third out.

John Franco got Gutierrez on a grounder to Kent to begin the top of the ninth inning. Ausmus hit a single and scored on Brian Johnson’s pinch-hit double. Roberts singled and Shipley hit a force play grounder that brought home Johnson. Gwynn hit a single to right field, sending Shipley to third base. Franco then struck out Williams to end the game. The Mets had a victory as John passed Jesse Orosco to become the new leader on the team’s all-time list for saves.