July 22, 1988: Mets Complete DH Sweep of Braves

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Date: July 22, 1988
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 5
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): David Cone, Dave Magadan, Mackey Sasser
Key play: Magadan’s sacrifice fly and single, Sasser’s two-run double

The Mets and Braves played a doubleheader at Shea Stadium on a Friday evening. After winning the opener of the twinbill, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the nightcap. David Cone pitched a complete game in a 5-1 Mets victory over Atlanta.

Cone pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Lenny Dykstra reached on an error by first baseman Gerald Perry to lead off the bottom half. Dykstra advanced to third base on Wally Backman’s single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dave Magadan. Darryl Strawberry drew a walk and Kevin McReynolds singled to load the bases. Howard Johnson grounded out to shortstop Andres Thomas to drive home Backman for a 2-0 Mets lead. Braves’ starter Rick Mahler then retired Mackey Sasser on a fly ball to center fielder Jerry Royster to end the inning.

Cone and Mahler each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Ron Gant hit a single to open the top of the sixth. Cone set down the next three Atlanta batters to close out the inning and Mahler issued back-to-back walks to McReynolds and Johnson with two outs in the bottom half. Sasser doubled to score McReynolds and Johnson, increasing the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Keith Miller then grounded back to Mahler for the inning’s final out.

Thomas homered to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Cone retired the Braves’ next three hitters and Dykstra got a one-out single in the bottom half. Backman hit a single to send Dykstra to third base and Mahler was replaced on the mound by Atlanta reliever Paul Assenmacher. Magadan greeted Assenmacher with a single that brought home Dykstra with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Strawberry grounded out to second baseman Gant and an intentional walk to McReynolds loaded the bases. Assenmacher then fanned Johnson to finish off the inning.

Cone set down the Braves in order in the top of the eighth. Assenmacher held the Mets to a leadoff double by Sasser in a scoreless bottom half. Perry grounded out to second baseman Backman to start the top of the ninth inning. Dale Murphy followed with a ground out to shortstop Kevin Elster. Cone then got Thomas to fly out to right fielder Strawberry and end the game. The Mets had a sweep of the doubleheader.