July 20, 1997: Fifteen Hits Rout Reds

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Date: July 20, 1997
Mets starter: Dave Mlicki
Mets: 10
Reds: 1
Winning pitcher: Dave Mlicki
Key player(s): Dave Mlicki, Todd Hundley, Edgardo Alfonzo, Bernard Gilkey
Key play: Hundley’s and Gilkey’s home runs, Alfonzo’s double

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played on a sunny day before 36,259 fans on hand. The Mets pounded out fifteen hits in a 10-1 win over Cincinnati.

Mets’ starter Dave Mlicki retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the top of the first inning. Bernard Gilkey singled against the Reds’ Kent Mercker with one out in the bottom half. John Olerud drew a walk and advanced to third base on Todd Hundley’s double that drove home Gilkey. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled to score Olerud and Hundley for a 3-0 Mets lead. Butch Huskey was given an intentional walk. With Manny Alexander at bat, catcher Joe Oliver threw to first baseman Hal Morris on a pickoff attempt. Trying to advance on the play, Alfonzo was out via Morris’s throw to third baseman Willie Greene. Mercker then retired Alexander on a fly ball to center fielder Curtis Goodwin for the third out.

Mlicki gave up just a double to Greene in the top of the second. Lance Johnson got a two-out single in the bottom of the inning. Gilkey singled and Olerud flied out to right fielder Jon Nunnally to end the inning. Mlicki pitched a perfect top of the third and Hundley homered to lead off the bottom half. Alfonzo grounded out to Greene and a pop-up by Huskey was caught by shortstop Pokey Reese. Mercker then got Alexander on a bunt back to the mound to close out the inning.

Mlicki set down all three Cincinnati batters in the top of the fourth. Dave singled to right field with one out in the bottom half. Johnson flied out to Goodwin and a two-run homer by Gilkey extended the Mets’ lead to 6-0. Mercker retired Olerud on fly ball to Nunnally that ended the inning and Eric Owens hit a two-out single in the top of the fifth. Owens moved to second base on a wild pitch and scored the Reds’ first run on a single by Reese. Pinch-hitter Jeff Branson singled and Deion Sanders was retired on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Huskey. Cincinnati reliever Felix Rodriguez then yielded only a single to Hundley in the bottom half.

Mlicki retired the side in order in the top of the sixth. Rey Ordonez hit a single to lead off the bottom of the inning. With Mlicki at the plate, Ordonez was caught stealing second base on Oliver’s throw to Reese. Mlicki doubled and went to third on a single by Johnson. Gilkey went down on strikes and Olerud singled to bring home Mlicki, increasing the Mets’ lead to 7-1. Hundley followed with his second homer to lengthen the New York advantage to nine runs. Rodriguez then got Alfonzo to fly out to left fielder Sanders and finish off the inning.

Mlicki held the Reds to a double by Morris in the top of the seventh. With two outs in the bottom half, Ordonez singled for the Mets’ fifteenth hit of the game. Pinch-hitter Matt Franco popped out to Reese to end the inning and Sanders drew a one-out walk against New York reliever Takashi Kashiwada in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Mike Kelly was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Alex Ochoa. Nunnally was hit by a pitch and Greene walked to load the bases. Kashiwada struck out Eduardo Perez to finish off the inning. Rodriguez then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Ed Taubensee singled against Mets’ reliever Cory Lidle to open the top of the ninth. Owens and Reese followed with force play ground balls and pinch-hitter Bret Boone singled to center field. Lenny Harris drew a walk to load the bases. Lidle then got Kelly to hit a force play grounder to third baseman Luis Lopez that ended the game. The Mets had an easy victory.

Notes

  • Gilkey’s home run was the 4,000th in Mets history