June 21, 1996: Hundley and Gilkey Slug Reds

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Date: June 21, 1996
Mets starter: Pete Harnisch
Mets: 9
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Jerry DiPoto
Key player(s): Jose Vizcaino, Todd Hundley, Bernard Gilkey
Key play: Vizcaino’s two-run single, Hundley’s two homers, Gilkey’s homer

The Mets faced the Reds on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of four games in an extended weekend series. Todd Hundley and Bernard Gilkey hit three two-run homers between them as the Mets came from behind for a 9-4 win over Cincinnati.

Thomas Howard singled to lead off the top of the first inning. Howard stole second base and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw by Mets’ starter Pete Harnisch. Willie Greene grounded out to second baseman Jose Vizcaino to drive home Howard with the first run of the game. Harnisch got Barry Larkin to pop out to third baseman Jeff Kent and retired Reggie Sanders on a fly ball to center fielder Lance Johnson to end the inning. Reds’ starter Roger Salkeld then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Eric Davis began the top of the second with a single to center field. Hal Morris drew a walk and Bret Boone singled to score Davis from second base. A sacrifice fly by Ed Taubensee plated Morris with the Reds’ third run. On the play, Boone was out at second via a relay throw by Kent to Vizcaino. Harnisch struck out Salkeld to end the inning. The Mets were then set down in order by Salkeld in the bottom half.

Howard hit a leadoff double in the top of the third inning. Greene grounded out to Vizcaino as Howard advanced to third base. Larkin singled to score Howard and increase the Cincinnati lead to 4-0. Sanders flied out to left fielder Gilkey and a walk to Davis followed. Harnisch then retired Morris on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Butch Huskey.

Pinch-hitter Edgardo Alfonzo drew a walk to open the bottom of the third. Johnson singled to send Alfonzo to third base and advanced to second on a throw. Vizcaino hit a single to score Alfonzo and Johnson, cutting the Reds’ lead in half. Gilkey went down on strikes and Hundley hit a two-run homer to tie the game. Kent followed with a double and Andy Tomberlin was called out on strikes. Salkeld then got Huskey to ground out to shortstop Larkin and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jerry DiPoto hurled a perfect top of the fourth inning. Salkeld did likewise in the bottom half and DiPoto set down all three Cincinnati hitters again in the top of the fifth. Vizcaino singled against Salkeld to begin the bottom of the inning. Gilkey hit a two-run homer off Reds’ reliever Johnny Ruffin to give the Mets a 6-4 lead. Hundley drew a walk and Kent hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Greene. Tomberlin grounded out to second baseman Boone. Ruffin retired Huskey on an inning-ending grounder to Greene. Morris and Boone got back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth. DiPoto then got Taubensee to pop out to Kent and end the inning.

Rey Ordonez singled against Ruffin to open the bottom of the sixth. With pinch-hitter Brent Mayne at bat, Cincinnati reliever Mike Remlinger threw a wild pitch to move Ordonez to second base. Mayne hit a single on which Ordonez advanced to third. Johnson followed with a force play grounder to Boone that scored Ordonez. Remlinger got Vizcaino on a ground ball to Boone for an inning-ending double play. Mets’ reliever Dave Mlicki then pitched a scoreless top of the seventh.

Gilkey singled against the Reds’ Kevin Jarvis to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Hundley followed with his second two-run homer of the game. Kent grounded out to Boone and a single by Tomberlin ensued. Jarvis struck out Huskey and got Ordonez to fly out to left fielder Howard and end the inning. Mlicki retired the side in order in the top of the eighth and singled to lead off the bottom half. Johnson popped out to shortstop Jeff Branson (who had replaced Larkin) and Vizcaino hit a force play grounder to Boone. Gilkey followed with a single to center field. Jarvis then got Hundley on a pop-up to Greene that closed out the inning.

Mlicki struck out Taubensee to start the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Eric Owens hit a single to left field. Mlicki then got Howard to hit a ground ball to shortstop Ordonez for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a comeback victory with a trio of two-run homers.

Notes

  • The save for Mlicki was the only one of his major league career.