July 3, 1996: Ochoa Hits for the Cycle
|Date: July 3, 1996|
|Mets starter: Mark Clark|
|Winning pitcher: Paul Byrd|
|Key player(s): Alex Ochoa|
|Key play: Ochoa's cycle|
The Mets faced the Phillies in the final game of a series at Veterans Stadium. Alex Ochoa collected five hits, hitting for the cycle in the process. The Mets avoided a three-game sweep with a 10-6 win over Philadelphia.
In the second inning, Jeff Kent and Ochoa got singles off Phils' starter Terry Hulholland. Butch Huskey added a third single to score Kent. The Phillies came back with a run of their own when Pete Incaviglia tripled off Mark Clark to score Jim Eisenreich in the bottom half.
In the third, Todd Zeile's two-out double brought home Ricky Otero to put the Phillies in front. The Mets tied it in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Kent and Todd Hundley. Ochoa then tripled to score Hundley and came home on a single by Rey Ordonez for a 4-2 Met lead.
Eisenreich singled to score Gregg Jefferies for a Phils' run in the fifth. Ochoa led off the top of the sixth with a double and Huskey followed with a two-run homer. With the Mets ahead, 6-3, Mulholland was replaced by reliever Ron Blazier.
Jefferies got a bases loaded single to score two runs off Clark in the sixth. Paul Byrd came in to relieve and gave up a single to Zeile that brought home Mickey Morandini. The game was tied at 6-6.
Ochoa came to bat against reliever Ken Ryan with one out in the eighth. Alex connected for a home run, completing the cycle and putting the Mets back in front. Huskey then tripled and after Ryan was removed for Steve Frey, Lance Johnson singled to score pinch-runner Tim Bogar. The Mets added two more runs off Frey in the ninth on a home run by Bernard Gilkey and Ochoa's second double of the game to score Kent.
Doug Henry pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to end the game. The Mets had salvaged the final game of the three-game set at the Vet. Ochoa became the Mets' sixth player to hit for the cycle in leading them to victory.