July 17, 1990: Sixteen Hits Pummel Astros

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Date: July 17, 1990
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 6
Astros: 2
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Daryl Boston, Kevin Elster
Key play: Johnson’s and Elster’s home runs, Boston’s double and single

The Mets faced the Astros on a Tuesday night in Houston. The teams played the second of three games in a series at the Astrodome. The Mets collected a total of sixteen hits in a 6-2 win.

Howard Johnson homered against Astros’ starter Bill Gullickson to lead off the top of the first inning. Gullickson retired the next three batters and the Mets’ Dwight Gooden pitched a scoreless bottom half. Kevin McReynolds and Mackey Sasser got back-to-back singles to open the top of the second. Daryl Boston doubled to score McReynolds and advance Sasser to third base. Kevin Elster popped out to first baseman Franklin Stubbs and a strikeout of Gooden followed. Gullickson then retired Johnson on a pop-up to Stubbs that ended the inning.

Craig Biggio drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the second. Biggio stole second base and moved to third on catcher Sasser’s throwing error. Javier Ortiz grounded out to first baseman Dave Magadan to drive home Biggio. Gooden threw called third strikes past Eric Anthony and Rich Gedman to close out the inning and Darryl Strawberry singled with two outs in the top of the third. Strawberry stole second and came home on a single by McReynolds for a 3-1 Mets lead. Gullickson retired Sasser on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Casey Candaele. Gooden then gave up just a single to Candaele in the bottom half.

Gullickson set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Stubbs singled and stole second base. Biggio hit a single to bring home Stubbs and went to second on a throw to the plate. With Ortiz at bat, Biggio was caught stealing on Sasser’s throw to third baseman Johnson. Ortiz drew a walk and went to second on a balk. Gooden then struck out Anthony to finish off the inning.

Gullickson yielded only a single to Magadan in the top of the fifth. Gooden hurled a scoreless bottom half and McReynolds began the top of the sixth with a double to left field. Sasser lined out to center fielder Biggio and a single by Boston drove home McReynolds. Elster was retired on a line drive to third baseman Ken Caminiti. On a pickoff attempt, Boston advanced to third base on an error by Stubbs. Gooden singled to score Boston and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Johnson hit a double off Houston reliever Dan Schatzeder. On the play, Gooden was out at home via a relay throw by Candaele to catcher Gedman to end the inning. Dwight then retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Magadan walked to open the top of the seventh. Gregg Jefferies went down on strikes and Strawberry singled to send Magadan to third base. Strawberry stole second and McReynolds was walked intentionally to load the bases. Schatzeder struck out Sasser and got Boston on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Eric Yelding. Gooden then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Leading off the top of the eighth, Elster homered against Houston reliever Jim Clancy for the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Gooden was struck out and Johnson doubled to right field. Magadan hit a single on which Biggio threw to Gedman for an out at home on Johnson. Clancy fanned Jefferies to close out the inning and a walk to Terry Puhl opened the bottom half. Yelding took a called third strike and Candaele singled to center field. Gooden got Caminiti for his tenth strikeout of the game. Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Stubbs on a ground ball to Magadan for the inning’s final out. For the Astros, reliever Juan Agosto gave up just a single to McReynolds (the Mets’ sixteenth hit) in the top of the ninth.

Biggio hit a double to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Ortiz reached on Elster’s error and Anthony followed with a double play ground ball to second baseman Keith Miller. Franco then retired pinch-hitter Carl Nichols on a grounder to Miller to end the game. The Mets had a victory with solid hitting.