June 23, 1995: Bogar's Homer Leads Mets Over Braves

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Date: June 23, 1995
Mets starter: Bret Saberhagen
Mets: 9
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: Bret Saberhagen
Key player(s): Tim Bogar, Bret Saberhagen, Edgardo Alfonzo, Rico Brogna
Key play: Bogar’s home run, Alfonzo’s doubles, Brogna’s homer and single

The Mets faced the Braves on a Friday night in Atlanta. The teams played the opener of a three-game weekend series. Tim Bogar slugged a three-run homer to break a tie and the Mets came away with a 9-3 win.

In the first inning, Rico Brogna and the Braves’ Jeff Blauser each hit solo home runs to create an early 1-1 score. Atlanta starter Kent Mercker hurled a perfect top of the second and the Mets’ Bret Saberhagen retired the first two batters in the bottom half. Javy Lopez homered to put the Braves ahead by a run and Mark Lemke grounded out to shortstop Bogar to end the inning. Mercker and Saberhagen then followed up by pitching scoreless and hitless ball in the third and fourth.

Chris Jones hit a single to lead off the top of the fifth. Jones advanced to second base on Todd Hundley’s ground out to third baseman Chipper Jones and scored the tying run on a single by Bogar. Mercker got Saberhagen and Ryan Thompson on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Marquis Grissom to close out the inning and the Braves failed to score in the bottom half. Mercker retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Saberhagen then set down all three Atlanta batters in the bottom of the inning.

Jeff Kent flied out to Grissom to begin the top of the seventh. Chris Jones singled and Hundley drew a walk. Bogar followed with a home run that put the Mets ahead, 5-2. Steve Bedrosian came in to pitch for the Braves and got Saberhagen to fly out to Grissom. Thompson hit a single and stole second base. Edgardo Alfonzo doubled to drive home Thompson and scored on Brogna’s ensuing single. Bedrosian retired Bobby Bonilla on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Lemke. Saberhagen then set down the Braves in order in the bottom half.

Atlanta’s Brad Clontz pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Saberhagen yielded just a single to Grissom in the bottom of the inning and reached on an error by Braves’ reliever Mike Stanton to open the top of the ninth. Thompson singled to send Saberhagen to third base and moved to second on a throw. Alfonzo hit his second double to bring home Saberhagen and Thompson for a 9-2 Mets lead. Brogna went down on strikes and Joe Orsulak flied out to left fielder Ryan Klesko. Stanton then retired Jose Vizcaino on a ground ball to shortstop Blauser for the inning’s final out.

Fred McGriff grounded back to Saberhagen to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Dave Justice popped out to catcher Hundley and a home run by Klesko ensued. Saberhagen then got Lopez on a grounder to third baseman Alfonzo to end the game. The Mets had a solid victory to start the series.