June 10, 1996: Hundley Blasts Braves With 5 RBIs

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Date: June 10, 1996
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 8
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Todd Hundley, Jeff Kent, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Hundley’s two homers, Alfonzo’s triple

The Mets faced the Braves on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Todd Hundley drove in five runs in an 8-3 Mets win over Atlanta.

Bobby Jones and the Braves’ Steve Avery each pitched a scoreless first inning. To begin the top of the second, Ryan Klesko drew a walk and moved to second base on a single by Jeff Blauser. Eddie Perez followed with a ground ball to second baseman Jose Vizcaino for a double play and Bobby Jones threw a called third strike past Mike Mordecai to end the inning. Hundley got a one-out single in the bottom half. Chris Jones lined out to right fielder Dwight Smith and a double by Butch Huskey ensued. Rey Ordonez was walked intentionally to load the bases. Avery then fanned Bobby Jones for the inning’s final out.

Bobby Jones shut down the Braves in the top of the third. Lance Johnson singled to center field to open the bottom half. Vizcaino got a bunt single and Bernard Gilkey popped out to shortstop Blauser. Jeff Kent hit a single to drive home Johnson with the first run of the game. Hundley followed with a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Avery then retired Chris Jones on a ground ball to Blauser and struck out Huskey to finish off the inning.

After a scoreless fourth, Avery doubled to lead off the top of the fifth. Marquis Grissom flied out to left fielder Gilkey and a single by Smith moved Avery to third base. Chipper Jones popped out to shortstop Ordonez and a strikeout of Fred McGriff ended the inning. Kent led off the bottom half with a triple to center field. Hundley singled to score Kent with the Mets’ fifth run and (with Chris Jones at bat) was caught off first by a pickoff throw. Avery then issued a walk to Chris Jones and followed up by retiring the next two New York batters to close out the inning.

Blauser and Perez got back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the sixth. Bobby Jones threw called third strikes past both Mordecai and pinch-hitter Tyler Houston for the inning’s final outs and Atlanta reliever Mike Bielecki hurled a scoreless bottom half. The Braves were held to a single by Grissom in the top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Hundley slugged his second homer (and fifth RBI) of the game for a 6-0 Mets lead. Chris Jones was retired on a fly ball to Smith. Bielecki then retired Rico Brogna on a ground ball to second baseman Mordecai that ended the inning.

McGriff singled to open the top of the eighth. Klesko flied out to Gilkey and a bunt single by Blauser followed. Perez singled to load the bases and Bobby Jones was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Dave Mlicki, who struck out Mordecai. Mlicki then recorded a strikeout of pinch-hitter Javy Lopez on which catcher Hundley tagged McGriff coming from third for the inning’s third out.

Ordonez singled against Atlanta’s Pedro Borbon, Jr. to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. Mlicki popped out to first baseman McGriff and a single by Johnson ensued. Edgardo Alfonzo tripled to bring home Ordonez and Johnson, increasing the Mets’ lead to 8-0. Terrell Wade came in to pitch for the Braves and retired Gilkey on a grounder to Blauser. Wade then got Kent to line out to Blauser and finish off the inning.

Grissom got a leadoff single in the top of the ninth. Smith flied out to Gilkey and a double by Chipper Jones advanced Grissom to third base. McGriff followed with a three-run homer and Klesko grounded out to Ordonez. Blauser hit a single to center field. Mlicki then struck out Perez to end the game. The Mets had a victory over the defending world champions to open the series.