July 29, 1988: Ojeda and Elster Put Away Pirates

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Date: July 29, 1988
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 1
Pirates: 0
Winning pitcher: Bob Ojeda
Key player(s): Bob Ojeda, Kevin Elster
Key play: Elster’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Bob Ojeda pitched a shutout and Kevin Elster hit a home run for a 1-0 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Ojeda and Bucs’ starter John Smiley hooked up in a pitchers duel from the first inning to the seventh. Bob yielded three singles and one walk while the Mets go no more than a single from Kevin McReynolds and walks to Dave Magadan and Gary Carter against Smiley. Mike LaValliere reached on first baseman Magadan’s error to lead off the top of the eighth. Rafael Belliard hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Howard Johnson and moved to second base on Smiley’s sacrifice bunt. Ojeda retired Barry Bonds on a pop-up to second baseman Tim Teufel to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Elster homered for a one-run Mets lead. Ojeda hit a single and Mookie Wilson flied out to right fielder Glenn Wilson. Smiley then got Magadan to ground out to first baseman Sid Bream and close out the inning.

Jose Lind lined out to center fielder Mookie Wilson to lead off the top of the ninth. Andy Van Slyke was retired on a fly ball to left fielder McReynolds. Ojeda then got Bobby Bonilla on a grounder to shortstop Elster for the game’s final out. The Mets had a shutout victory to start the weekend series.