July 4, 1999: Alfonzo's Homer in 7th Beats Braves
|Date: July 4, 1999|
|Mets starter: Orel Hershiser|
|Winning pitcher: Dennis Cook|
|Key player(s): Edgardo Alfonzo|
|Key play: Alfonzo's home run|
The Mets and Braves concluded a three-game series on a Sunday night at Shea Stadium. After being outscored 19-0 in the two previous games, the Mets were looking to avoid an Atlanta sweep. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Mets a 7-6 win.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first against Mets' starter Orel Hershiser. Bret Boone and Chipper Jones hit back-to-back home runs with one out in the inning. Hershiser retired Brian Jordan on a pop out to shortstop Rey Ordonez and walked Ryan Klesko. He then got Andruw Jones to hit into a force play for the third out.
In the bottom of the first inning, Rickey Henderson hit a single off Atlanta starter John Smoltz. Alfonzo drew a walk and John Olerud singled to load the bases for the Mets. Mike Piazza also singled to score Henderson and Alfonzo with the tying runs. With one out, Olerud came home on an infield grounder by Benny Agbayani to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Smoltz then retired Roger Cedeno for the final out of the inning.
After Hershiser pitched a scoreless top of the second, Henderson singled with two outs in the bottom half. Alfonzo hit a double to score Rickey with the Mets' fourth run. Olerud then grounded out to second baseman Boone to end the inning.
Boone led off the top of the third with his second home run of the game. Chipper Jones walked and moved to third base on a single by Jordan. Klesko hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Chipper Jones to tie the game at 4-4. Andruw Jones struck out and Randall Simon homered to give Atlanta a two-run lead. Pat Mahomes then replaced Hershiser and fanned Smoltz for the third out of the inning.
Smoltz set down the Mets in order in the bottom of the third inning. Mahomes pitched a perfect top of the fourth and the Mets failed to score despite two hits in the bottom half. Smoltz faced the minimum six batters in holding the Mets scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings. Meanwhile, reliever Rigo Beltran pitched two shutout innings for the Mets.
Greg McMichael struck out Boone to begin the top of the seventh inning. Following Chipper Jones' single and stolen base, Greg fanned Jordan and walked Klesko intentionally. McMichael threw a wild pitch and issued a free pass to Andruw Jones to load the bases for the Braves. Reliever Dennis Cook then retired pinch-hitter Gerald Williams to close out the inning.
Ordonez led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. Brian McRae walked and Henderson's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Alfonzo followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead by a run. Smoltz was then relieved by Mike Remlinger, who finished the inning with no further scoring.
For the Mets, Cook pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Atlanta's Kevin McGlinchy pitched a scoreless bottom half. Armando Benitez then struck out all three batters in the top of the ninth to end the game. The Mets had a victory over the Braves.