July 31, 1994: Four Runs in 9th Stun Pirates

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Date: July 31, 1994
Mets starter: Juan Castillo
Mets: 6
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: Mauro Gozzo
Key player(s): David Segui, Todd Hundley, Jeromy Burnitz
Key play: Hundley’s double, Burnitz’s single

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored four runs in the ninth inning for a 6-4 win over the Bucs.

Following a scoreless first inning, Pittsburgh starter Zane Smith pitched a scoreless top of the second. Dave Clark singled against the Mets’ Juan Castillo to lead off the bottom half. Clark was caught stealing on catcher Kelly Stinnett’s throw to second baseman Jeff Kent and a single by Jeff King ensued. Midre Cummings hit a two-run homer and Steve Pegues singled to left field. Lance Parrish grounded out to first baseman Rico Brogna. Castillo then retired Smith on a fly ball to right fielder Jeromy Burnitz to end the inning.

Smith set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Castillo hurled a scoreless bottom half and Bobby Bonilla singled to open the top of the fourth. Bonilla advanced to third base on a single by Kent and came home on Ryan Thompson’s double play ground ball to shortstop Jay Bell. David Segui singled and went to second on Brogna’s infield single. Castillo hit a single to drive home Segui and tie the game at 2-2. Smith retired Jose Vizcaino on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Clark. Castillo then yielded only a single to Cummings in the bottom half.

Castillo and Smith each pitched scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. Smith retired all three Mets hitters in the top of the seventh and pinch-hitter Gary Varsho hit a one-out triple against Castillo in the bottom half. Carlos Garcia tripled to bring home Varsho and scored on Bell’s sacrifice bunt for a 4-2 Pirates lead. Orlando Merced doubled and Mets’ reliever Eric Gunderson retired Clark on a grounder to third baseman Bonilla that closed out the inning.

Pittsburgh’s Paul Wagner hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. For New York, reliever Mauro Gozzo retired the side in order in the bottom half. With one out in the top of the ninth inning, Segui drew a walk against Bucs’ reliever Mike Dyer. Brogna hit a single and pinch-hitter Todd Hundley doubled to drive home Segui. Vizcaino walked to load the bases and Stinnett was hit by a pitch to force home pinch-runner Fernando Vina with the tying run. Burnitz followed with a single that plated Hundley and put the Mets ahead, 5-4. Bonilla drew a walk that brought home Vizcaino with the sixth New York run. Mark Dewey came in to pitch for the Pirates and retired Kent on a fly ball to center fielder Cummings. Trying to score after the catch, Stinnett was out on Cummings’ throw to catcher Parrish to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco got Parrish on a fly ball to center fielder Thompson to begin the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Lloyd McClendon grounded out to Bonilla and a single by Garcia ensued. Franco then retired Bell on a fly ball to Thompson for the game’s final out. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory to close out the weekend series.

Notes

  • Castillo’s single was the only hit and RBI of his major league career.