July 30, 1997: Five Late Runs Beat Giants

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Date: July 30, 1997
Mets starter: Rick Reed
Mets: 5
Giants: 2
Winning pitcher: Rick Reed
Key player(s): Carl Everett, Edgardo Alfonzo, John Olerud
Key play: Everett’s single, Olerud’s double

The Mets faced the Giants on a Wednesday night in San Francisco. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. The Mets scored five runs in the eighth and ninth innings for a 5-2 win.

Rick Reed and the Giants’ Kirk Rueter each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Rey Ordonez drew a walk with one out in the top of the fifth. Reed’s sacrifice bunt advanced Ordonez to second base and Lance Johnson grounded out to second baseman Jeff Kent to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Brian Johnson homered for a 1-0 San Francisco lead. Rueter was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Bernard Gilkey. Stan Javier grounded out to second baseman Luis Lopez and a single by Jose Vizcaino ensued. Reed then got Barry Bonds to ground out to first baseman Butch Huskey and finish off the inning.

Gilkey and Edgardo Alfonzo got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the sixth. Todd Hundley fouled out to left fielder Bonds. Huskey grounded to Kent for an inning-ending double play and J. T. Snow walked with one out in the bottom half. Glenallen Hill popped out to Lopez and a foul pop-up by Mark Lewis was caught by Huskey to close out the inning. Reuter set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. To open the bottom half, Brian Johnson slugged his second home run to extend the Giants’ lead to 2-0. Reed then retired the next three batters on infield ground balls to end the inning.

Alex Ochoa and Lance Johnson got consecutive singles against Rueter to begin the top of the eighth. San Francisco reliever Julian Tavarez retired Gilkey on a fly ball to center fielder Javier, after which Ochoa moved to third base. Alfonzo singled to score Ochoa with the Mets’ first run of the game. Hundley grounded out to first baseman Snow and a walk to Huskey loaded the bases. Carl Everett hit a single to drive home Lance Johnson and Alfonzo for a 3-2 New York lead. Tavarez retired Lopez on a fly ball to Javier that ended the inning. Mets’ reliever Cory Lidle then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Ordonez singled against Tavarez to lead off the top of the ninth. John Olerud followed with a double off Giants’ reliever Jim Poole to bring home Ordonez. Lance Johnson got a single to score Olerud with the Mets’ fifth run. With San Francisco’s Doug Henry on the mound, Lance was caught stealing second base on catcher Brian Johnson’s throw to shortstop Vizcaino. Gilkey drew a walk and went to second on Alfonzo’s ground out to third baseman Bill Mueller. Hundley was walked intentionally and pinch-hitter Matt Franco got an infield single against San Francisco’s Rich Rodriguez to load the bases. Rodriguez then got Everett to foul out to Snow and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Hill on a ground ball to third baseman Alfonzo to start the bottom of the ninth. Mueller grounded out to John Franco, who followed up by getting Brian Johnson on a grounder to Lopez for the game’s final out. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory.