July 21, 1997: Everett's Two Homers, Franco's Met Milestone

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Date: July 21, 1997
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 5
Reds: 3
Winning pitcher: Greg McMichael
Key player(s): Carl Everett, John Franco
Key play: Everett’s two home runs

The Mets faced the Reds on a Monday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams concluded a four-game overlapping weekend series. Carl Everett hit a pair of home runs and John Franco recorded his 200th save as a Met in the team’s 5-3 victory over Cincinnati.

After a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Bobby Jones pitched a perfect top of the second. With one out in the bottom half, Everett hit a home run for a 1-0 Mets lead. Reds’ starter Dave Burba retired the next two batters to close out the inning. Jones set down Cincinnati 1-2-3 in the top of the third and Burba hurled a scoreless bottom half. The Reds failed to score despite singles by Eric Owens and Jon Nunnally in the top of the fourth. The Mets were then retired in order by Burba in the bottom of the inning.

Hal Morris singled and moved to second base on Joe Oliver’s ground out to open the top of the fifth. A double by Bret Boone scored Morris with the tying run. Jones retired Pokey Reese on a pop-up to second baseman Carlos Baerga and got Burba on a ground ball to shortstop Rey Ordonez for the third out. Burba pitched a perfect bottom half. Nunnally hit a two-out homer to put the Reds ahead, 2-1, in the top of the sixth. Jones then retired Willie Greene on a grounder to first baseman John Olerud to end the inning.

Burba walked Lance Johnson to begin the bottom of the sixth. Johnson advanced to second on Bernard Gilkey’s ground out and stole third base. After a walk to Olerud, Burba struck out Todd Hundley and hit Edgardo Alfonzo with a pitch to load the bases. Everett walked to force home Johnson and tie the game. Baerga singled off Cincinnati reliever Mike Remlinger to score Olerud for a 3-2 Mets lead. Ordonez then popped out to catcher Oliver to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Oliver hit a home run to retie the game. Boone drew a walk and Reese flied out to right fielder Everett. Jones issued a walk to pinch-hitter Lenny Harris and got Curtis Goodwin on a grounder back to the mound for the third out. Reds’ reliever Scott Sullivan pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. Mets’ reliever Greg McMichael then shut down Cincinnati in the top of the eighth.

Olerud hit a single to right field to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Hundley and Alfonzo followed with fly outs to center fielder Nunnally. Everett came to bat and slugged his second homer of the game to put the Mets ahead by two runs. Sullivan then retired Baerga on an inning-ending line drive to shortstop Reese.

Franco took the mound for the Mets the top of the ninth. He began the inning by retiring Oliver on a fly ball to center fielder Johnson. Boone followed with another fly out to Johnson. Franco then got Reese on yet another fly ball to Johnson for the final out of the game and his 200th save as a member of the Mets. For the team, the win completed a sweep of the four-game series.