July 29, 1994: Mets Beat Bucs With Key Hits

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Date: July 29, 1994
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 4
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff Kent, Ryan Thompson
Key play: Burnitz’s and Kent’s singles, Thompson’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Friday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets began the weekend successfully with a 4-1 Mets win over the Bucs.

Jose Vizcaino drew a walk against Pirates’ starter Jon Lieber to lead off the top of the first inning. Todd Hundley doubled to advance Vizcaino to third base. Rico Brogna followed with a ground out to third baseman Jeff King to bring home Vizcaino. Lieber struck out Bobby Bonilla and retired Jeff Kent on a fly ball to left fielder Midre Cummings for the third out. With two outs in the bottom half, Orlando Merced doubled and advanced to third on Dave Clark’s infield single. Mets’ starter Bobby Jones then fanned Andy Van Slyke to close out the inning.

Jones and Lieber each pitched scoreless and hitless ball in the second and third innings. To begin the top of the fourth, Brogna hit a ground-rule double to right-center field. Rico moved to third base on Bonilla’s ground out to first baseman Merced. Kent grounded out to shortstop Jay Bell and a single by Jeromy Burnitz scored Brogna for a 2-0 Mets lead. Lieber got David Segui on a grounder to Bell that ended the inning and a walk to Clark began the bottom half. Clark went to second on a balk and Van Slyke popped out to second baseman Kent. King hit a single to drive home Clark with the Bucs’ first run of the game. Cummings flied out to center fielder Ryan Thompson and a single by Lance Parrish sent King to third. Lieber the grounded back to Jones for the inning’s final out.

Lieber retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. Jones yielded only a single to Merced in the bottom of the inning and Bonilla doubled with two outs in the top of the sixth. Kent hit a single to bring home Bonilla and extend the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Burnitz popped out to shortstop Tom Foley to finish off the inning and Van Slyke got a leadoff single in the bottom half. King flied out to Thompson and a fly ball by Cummings was caught by left fielder Segui. Jones then got Parrish to pop out to third baseman Bonilla and end the inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Thompson homered for the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Jones went down on strikes and Vizcaino singled to left field. Lieber retired Hundley on a foul pop-up to King for the inning’s third out and Jones shut down the Pirates in the bottom half. Bonilla hit a one-out single against Pittsburgh reliever Ravelo Manzanillo in the top of the eighth. Kent lined out to Foley and a pop-up by Burnitz was caught by second baseman Carlos Garcia for the final out of the inning. Jones walked Merced to open the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Eric Gunderson then struck out Clark and got Van Slyke to hit a ground ball to shortstop Vizcaino for an inning-ending double play.

Pirates’ reliever Dan Miceli pitched a perfect top of the ninth. New York’s John Franco fanned King to open the bottom half. Cummings also went down on strikes. Franco then retired Parrish on a fly ball to Thompson to end the game. The Mets had begun the weekend series with a victory.