June 18, 1999: Three Pitchers Combine for Three-Hitter

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Date: June 18, 1999
Mets starter: Orel Hershiser
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 2
Winning pitcher: Orel Hershiser
Key player(s): Orel Hershiser, Roger Cedeno, Rickey Henderson
Key play: Henderson’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night in St. Louis. The teams played the second of four games in a weekend series. Three Mets pitchers teamed up for a three-hitter in a 6-2 win over the Redbirds.

Orel Hershiser and the Cards’ Juan Acevedo each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. Rickey Henderson singled with one out in the top of the third. Edgardo Alfonzo hit a double to score Henderson with the game’s first run. A wild pitch advanced Alfonzo to third base and John Olerud drew a walk. Acevedo got Mike Piazza on a ground ball to shortstop Edgar Renteria for an inning-ending double play. Hershiser then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Roger Cedeno got a bunt single with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. On Acevedo’s errant pickoff throw, Cedeno moved all the way to third base. Rey Ordonez singled to bring home Cedeno with the Mets’ second run and Hershiser grounded back to Acevedo to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Joe McEwing singled for the first St. Louis hit. Renteria followed with a double play grounder to shortstop Ordonez. Hershiser then struck out Mark McGwire to finish off the inning.

After a scoreless fifth, Brian McRae doubled with one out in the top of the sixth. Cedeno singled to send McRae to third base and stole second. Ordonez was walked intentionally to load the bases and pinch-hitter Matt Franco was called out on strikes. Henderson hit a single to score McRae and Cedeno for a 4-0 Mets lead. Cardinals’ reliever Rich Croushore fanned Alfonzo for the third out of the inning and the Mets’ Turk Wendell pitched a perfect bottom half. Croushore yielded only a leadoff single to Olerud in a scoreless top of the seventh. Wendell then set down all three St. Louis batters in the bottom of the inning.

Cedeno singled for his third hit to open the top of the eighth. Roger stole second base and went to third on Ordonez’s infield single. Wendell was struck out and Henderson drew a walk to load the bases. Alfonzo hit a force play grounder to Renteria that drove home Cedeno. Mike Mohler came in to pitch for the Cardinals and got Olerud on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Ray Lankford. Consecutive walks to Eric Davis and Placido Polanco began the bottom half. Eli Marrero hit a ground ball to third baseman Robin Ventura for a double play and Thomas Howard homered to reduce the Mets’ lead to 5-2. McEwing singled for the Cards’ third hit of the game. Wendell was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Armando Benitez, who issued a walk to Renteria. Benitez then threw a called third strike past McGwire to end the inning.

Leading off the top of the ninth, Piazza homered for the Mets’ sixth run. Ventura grounded out to Renteria and a pop-up by McRae was caught by second baseman McEwing. Cedeno drew a walk and moved to third base on a double by Ordonez. Mohler retired Benitez on a grounder to Renteria for the inning’s third out. To begin the bottom half, Armando struck out Lankford. Pinch-hitter Willie McGee grounded out to second baseman Alfonzo and a walk to Davis followed. Benitez then got Polanco to fly out to right fielder Cedeno for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory on a three-hitter comprised of a trio of pitchers.