July 4, 1997: Pratt and Gilkey Bury Marlins
|Date: July 4, 1997|
|Mets starter: Rick Reed|
|Winning pitcher: Rick Reed|
|Key player(s): Todd Pratt, Bernard Gilkey|
|Key play: Pratt’s and Gilkey’s homers and singles|
The Mets faced the Marlins on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of four games in a holiday weekend series. Todd Pratt and Bernard Gilkey drove in three runs apiece to lead the Mets to a 6-2 win over Florida.
Jim Eisenreich singled against Mets’ starter Rick Reed with two outs in the top of the first inning. Gary Sheffield hit a two-run homer and Moises Alou went down on strikes for the third out. Lance Johnson got a single against the Marlins’ Al Leiter to begin the bottom half. Edgardo Alfonzo drew a walk and John Olerud popped out to shortstop Edgar Renteria. Gilkey hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Bobby Bonilla. Leiter then got Butch Huskey to fly out to center fielder Alou and close out the inning.
Reed set down the side in order in the top of the second. Carlos Baerga drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. Pratt slugged a home run to tie the game at 2-2. Shawn Gilbert was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Eisenreich. Reed grounded out to Bonilla and a walk to Lance Johnson followed. Lance moved to second base on Alfonzo’s single and stole third. Leiter then retired Olerud on a line drive to Renteria to end the inning.
Reed hurled a scoreless top of the third. Huskey hit a double with one out in the bottom half. Butch advanced to third base on Baerga’s ground out to second baseman Kurt Abbott and scored on Pratt’s infield single for a 3-2 Mets lead. Gilbert lined out to Renteria to finish off the inning and Alou singled to open the top of the fourth. Bonilla hit a force play ground ball to first baseman Olerud and a single by Jeff Conine ensued. Charles Johnson was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Lance Johnson, after which Bonilla went to third. Reed retired Leiter on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Baerga. Leiter then pitched a perfect bottom half.
Reed gave up just a single to Renteria in the top of the fifth. Olerud drew a walk against Leiter to open the bottom of the inning. Gilkey hit a two-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Huskey was retired on a pop-up to Abbott. Baerga reached on Bonilla’s error and a walk to Pratt followed. Fish reliever Mark Hutton struck out Gilbert and issued a walk to Reed that loaded the bases. Hutton then got Lance Johnson to fly out to right fielder Sheffield and finish off the inning.
Reed yielded only a single to Sheffield in the top of the sixth. Hutton shut down the Mets in the bottom half and New York reliever Cory Lidle retired all three batters in the top of the seventh. Florida’s Rick Helling hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and the Mets’ Greg McMichael retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. Luis Lopez walked against Marlins’ reliever Matt Whisenant (in his major league debut) to lead off the bottom half. Lance Johnson reached on Abbott’s error and Alfonzo reached on an error by Whisenant to load the bases. Olerud lined out to Bonilla, who stepped on third for an out on Lopez and a double play. Gilkey singled to drive home Lance Johnson with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Whisenant then struck out McMichael to end the inning.
Alou popped out to shortstop Lopez to begin the top of the ninth. Bonilla went down on strikes. McMichael then retired Conine on a pop-up to third baseman Alfonzo to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a holiday victory.