June 22, 1994: Four Runs in 8th Overtake Braves

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Date: June 22, 1994
Mets starter: Pete Smith
Mets: 5
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: Pete Smith
Key player(s): Ryan Thompson, Shawn Hare, Greg Maddux
Key play: Thompson’s single in 2nd, Hare’s single in 8th, Maddux’s error

The Mets and Braves faced each other on a Wednesday might in Atlanta. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Four runs in the eighth inning lifted the Mets to a 5-2 win.

Braves’ starter Greg Maddux pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Roberto Kelly and Jeff Blauser led off with back-to-back home runs for a 2-0 Atlanta lead. Mets’ starter Pete Smith retired three of the next four batters and Jeff Kent doubled to begin the top of the second. Kent advanced to third base on Rico Brogna’s ground out to shortstop Blauser. Todd Hundley went down on strikes and a single by Ryan Thompson brought home Kent with the Mets’ first run. Maddux retired Smith on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Mark Lemke. Pete then set down the Braves in order in the bottom half.

Maddux and Smith each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the seventh. During the five-inning stretch, no Mets player reached base while the Braves were limited to two singles and a pair of walks. Leading off the top of the eighth, Hundley singled to center field. Thompson followed with a single on which Hundley advanced to third base. Pinch-hitter Shawn Hare singled to score Hundley and tie the game. On Fernando Vina’s ensuing bunt, Maddux made an errant throw that allowed Thompson and Hare to come around and score. Vina advanced to third on the play and the Mets had a 4-2 lead. Jose Vizcaino hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Vina for the fifth New York run of the game. Joe Orsulak grounded out to Blauser and a double by Bobby Bonilla followed. Maddux retired Kent on a fly ball to right fielder Dave Justice to end the inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Tony Tarasco singled off Mets’ reliever Mauro Gozzo. Tarasco moved to third on Fred McGriff’s double to left field. Gozzo then got Justice to fly out to left fielder Hare and finish off the inning.

Maddux shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth. Mets’ reliever John Franco retired Javy Lopez on a line drive to shortstop Vizcaino to start the bottom half. Bill Pecota flied out to Hare. Franco then set down Lemke on a game-ending fly ball to right fielder Orsulak. The Mets had a comeback victory to avoid a sweep of the series.