June 13, 1990: Mets Outlast Cubs in Hitting Contest

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Date: June 13, 1990
Mets starter: Sid Fernandez
Mets: 15
Cubs: 10
Winning pitcher: John Franco
Key player(s): Kevin Elster, Daryl Boston, Howard Johnson
Key play: Boston’s single, Elster’s single, Johnson’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The teams combined for 32 hits in a dazzling opening game of the twinbill. The Mets broke a tie with five runs in the ninth inning for a 15-10 win over Chicago.

Mark Carreon doubled against Cubs’ starter Jeff Pico to lead off the top of the first. An ensuing single by Dave Magadan advanced Carreon to third base. Howard Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Carreon and send Magadan to second. Darryl Strawberry was given an intentional walk and Tom O'Malley singled to score Magadan with the Mets’ second run. Pico got Tim Teufel to hit a ground ball to shortstop Shawon Dunston for an inning-ending double play. Mets’ starter Sid Fernandez then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

With one out in the top of the second inning, Mackey Sasser hit a single to left field. Sasser moved to second base on Fernandez’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a single by Carreon for a 3-0 Mets lead. Magadan drew a walk and Johnson flied out to center fielder Jerome Walton to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Andre Dawson homered for the first Chicago run of the game. Luis Salazar popped out to first baseman Magadan and a fly ball by Dunston was caught by right fielder Strawberry. Fernandez issued a walk to Doug Dascenzo and got Joe Girardi on a grounder to second baseman Teufel for the inning’s final out. Pico then shut down the Mets in the top of the third.

A single by Pico opened the bottom of the third inning. Walton drew a walk and Ryne Sandberg slugged a homer to put the Cubs ahead by a run. Fernandez set down the next two batters and Salazar followed with a single to left field. Dunston hit a home run to extend the Chicago lead to 6-3 and a double by Dascenzo ensued. Sid retired Girardi on a fly ball to Strawberry for the third out and Pico hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Mets’ reliever Wally Whitehurst then retired all three hitters in the bottom of the inning.

Pico held the Mets to a single by Magadan in the top of the fifth. Dawson singled with one out in the bottom half. Salazar hit a two-run homer for an 8-3 Cubs lead and Dunston went down on strikes. Whitehurst threw a called third strike past Dascenzo to close out the inning and O’Malley homered to begin the top of the sixth. Teufel lined out to Pico and a double by Daryl Boston followed. Sasser flied out to Walton and a single by pinch-hitter Gregg Jefferies brought home Boston to cut the Chicago lead to 8-5. Cubs’ reliever Les Lancaster got Carreon on a ground ball to second baseman Sandberg to finish off the inning. For the Mets, Alejandro Pena retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Magadan and Johnson got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the seventh. Strawberry followed with an infield single to load the bases and O’Malley was struck out. Kevin McReynolds singled to score Magadan with the Mets’ sixth run and Paul Assenmacher came in to pitch for the Cubs with Lancaster shifting to left field. Boston greeted Assenmacher with a single that scored Johnson and Strawberry to tie the game. Sasser singled to bring home McReynolds with the go-ahead run and Jefferies drew a walk to reload the bases. Lancaster returned to the mound to face pinch-hitter Kevin Elster, who hit a sacrifice fly that plated Boston for a 10-8 Mets lead. Lancaster then got Magadan to fly out to right fielder Dawson and end the inning.

Against Mets’ reliever Julio Machado, Sandberg hit his second home run of the game to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Mark Grace popped out to shortstop Elster and a single by Dawson ensued. Salazar hit a force play grounder to third baseman Johnson and a pop-up by Dunston was caught by first baseman O’Malley for the third out of the inning. Strawberry singled with one out in the top of the eighth. O’Malley was retired on a ground ball to Sandberg. Lancaster then got McReynolds to fly out to Dawson and end the inning.

A double by Marvell Wynne began the bottom of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Dave Clark followed with a triple to drive home Wynne and tie the game at 10-10. Lancaster lined out to left fielder McReynolds. Walton grounded back to Machado and an intentional walk to Sandberg ensued. John Franco then came in to pitch for the Mets and retired Grace on a grounder to second baseman Jefferies for the inning’s final out.

Boston hit his second double to begin the top of the ninth inning. Sasser reached on a fielder’s choice grounder and Jefferies drew a walk to load the bases. Elster got an infield single to bring home Boston and put the Mets ahead by a run. Orlando Mercado hit a ground ball on which Sandberg threw to catcher Lloyd McClendon for a force out at home on Sasser. Johnson followed with a grand slam to give the Mets their second five-run inning. Lancaster was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Dean Wilkins, who gave up a double to Strawberry for the twentieth New York hit and thirty-second of the game. Franco flied out to left fielder Wynne and a walk to McReynolds ensued. Wilkins then threw a called third strike past Boston to close out the inning.

Dawson lined out to Elster to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Salazar was retired on a grounder to Johnson. Franco then got Dunston to hit a ground ball to Elster for the final out of the game. The Mets had opened the doubleheader with a victory in a wild Wrigley hitting battle.