July 22, 1994: Kent's Slam Leads Mets to Win

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Date: July 22, 1994
Mets starter: Jason Jacome
Mets: 6
Giants: 3
Winning pitcher: Jason Jacome
Key player(s): Jeff Kent, Rico Brogna, Jason Jacome
Key play: Kent’s grand slam, Brogna’s triple

The Mets faced the Giants on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Jeff Kent hit a grand slam in the first inning to ignite the Mets to a 6-3 win over San Francisco.

The Giants failed to score after loading the bases against the Mets’ Jason Jacome in the top of the first. Todd Hundley drew a walk with one out in the bottom half. Bobby Bonilla singled and Jeromy Burnitz’s ground out to second baseman Steve Scarsone advanced the runners to second and third base. David Segui was walked intentionally to load the bases. Kent followed with a grand slam to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. Rico Brogna singled and Giants’ starter Bill Swift struck out Ryan Thompson to end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Barry Bonds homered to lead off the top of the third. Jacome fanned both Matt Williams and Darryl Strawberry before retiring Todd Benzinger on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Kent. Swift yielded only a single to Burnitz in the bottom half. Jacome and Swift pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings and Royce Clayton tripled to begin the top of the sixth. Kirt Manwaring grounded out to shortstop Jose Vizcaino to drive home Manwaring. Jacome then got Swift to ground out to third baseman Tim Bogar and retired Darren Lewis on a fly ball to center fielder Thompson that closed out the inning.

Burnitz singled against Swift to open the bottom of the sixth. Segui and Kent followed with ground outs that moved Burnitz around to third base. Brogna hit a triple to score Burnitz and an intentional walk to Thompson ensued. Pinch-hitter Fernando Vina singled to bring home Brogna for a 6-2 Mets lead. San Francisco reliever Pat Gomez then retired Vizcaino on a fly ball to right fielder Strawberry for the inning’s third out.

Bonds doubled against Mets’ reliever Roger Mason with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Williams was called out on strikes and Strawberry hit a single to plate Bonds with the Giants’ third run. Pinch-hitter Mark Leonard singled off New York’s Eric Gunderson. Against the Mets’ Josias Manzanillo, Clayton hit a force play grounder to Vizcaino to finish off the inning. San Francisco’s William VanLandingham then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Manzanillo set down the Giants on three consecutive infield grounders in the top of the eighth. VanLandingham retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning. Mets’ reliever John Franco struck out pinch-hitter John Patterson to start the top of the ninth. Bonds also went down on strikes. Franco then fanned Williams for the game’s final out. The Mets had a series-opening victory.