July 28, 1996: Jones Three-Hits Reds

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Date: July 28, 1996
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 7
Reds: 1
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Bobby Jones, Jose Vizcaino, Todd Hundley
Key play: Vizcaino’s triple and single, Hundley’s home run

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Bobby Jones pitched a three-hit complete game in a 7-1 Mets win.

With one out in the top of the first inning, Jose Vizcaino tripled against Reds’ starter Kevin Jarvis. Vizcaino came home to score on the play via an error by shortstop Barry Larkin. Bernard Gilkey followed with an infield single and advanced to third base on a single by Todd Hundley. Butch Huskey reached on third baseman Jeff Branson’s error that allowed Gilkey to score the Mets’ second run. Jarvis threw a called third strike past Jeff Kent and got Alex Ochoa on an inning-ending force play ground ball to Branson. Jones then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Following a scoreless second inning, Jarvis shut down the Mets in the top of the third. Joe Oliver got a one-out single in the bottom half. Oliver moved to second base on Jarvis’s sacrifice bunt and scored on an ensuing double by Thomas Howard. Jones retired Lenny Harris on a pop-up to second baseman Vizcaino for the third out and Jarvis set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth. Jones pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning and Lance Johnson singled with two outs in the top of the fifth. Johnson stole second base and Jarvis got Vizcaino on a called third strike to close out the inning. Jones then struck out all three Cincinnati batters in the bottom half.

Hundley homered with one out in the top of the sixth inning to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Huskey drew a walk and Kent singled to center field. Ochoa hit a single to load the bases and Jarvis walked to Edgardo Alfonzo to force home Huskey. Jones’ sacrifice bunt against Reds’ reliever Scott Service brought home Kent with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Johnson was walked intentionally to reload the bases and Vizcaino singled to score Ochoa and Alfonzo for two more New York runs. Service struck out Gilkey to end the inning. Jones then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Cincinnati reliever Johnny Ruffin pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Jones did likewise in the bottom of the inning and Ruffin set down all three Mets hitters again in the top of the eighth. Branson doubled for the Reds’ third hit with one out in the bottom half. Jones retired Oliver on a line drive to right fielder Ochoa and got pinch-hitter Ed Taubensee on a fly ball to left fielder Gilkey to end the inning. Cincinnati’s Lee Smith then held the Mets to a single by Gilkey in a scoreless top of the ninth.

Howard popped out to shortstop Alfonzo to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Harris was retired on a ground ball to Vizcaino. Jones then got Willie Greene to ground out to first baseman Tim Bogar and end the game. The Mets had a victory on Bobby’s three-hitter to stop a six-game losing streak.