June 27, 1990: Viola Four-Hits Cardinals

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Date: June 27, 1990
Mets starter: Frank Viola
Mets: 5
Cardinals: 2
Winning pitcher: Frank Viola
Key player(s): Frank Viola, Darryl Strawberry, Dave Magadan
Key play: Strawberry's two-run single, Magadan's triple

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Wednesday night in St. Louis. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Frank Viola pitched a four-hitter in a 5-2 Mets win over the Redbirds.

Cards' starter Joe Magrane hurled a scoreless top of the first inning. Viola surrendered just a walk to Pedro Guerrero in the bottom half and Magrane yielded only a double to Kevin Elster in the top of the second. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Jose Oquendo homered for a 1-0 St. Louis lead. Viola then retired Ozzie Smith on a ground ball to shortstop Elster for the inning's third out.

After scoreless third and fourth innings, Orlando Mercado singled to open the top of the fifth. Viola went down on strikes and Keith Miller hit a single. On the play, Mercado advanced to third base (and Miller to second) via an error by left fielder Vince Coleman. Dave Magadan followed with a grounder on which shortstop Smith threw to catcher Todd Zeile for an out at home on Mercado. Howard Johnson drew a walk to load the bases and Darryl Strawberry singled to drive home Miller and Magadan, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. Magrane retired Kevin McReynolds on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Willie McGee. Viola then held the Cardinals to a walk to Oquendo in the bottom half.

Mark Carreon got a leadoff single in the top of the sixth. Elster singled and Mercado grounded to third baseman Terry Pendleton for a double play. With Viola at bat, Carreon came home on a wild pitch to extend the Mets' lead to 3-1. Magrane retired Viola on a foul pop-up to Pendleton that finished off the inning and McGee got a one-out single in the bottom half. McGee stole second base and scored on a single by Guerrero. Zeile drew a walk and Pendleton lined out to center fielder Carreon. Viola then got Rex Hudler on a line drive to Carreon for the final out of the inning.

Miller singled to begin the top of the seventh. Magadan connected for a triple to bring home Miller and increase the Mets' lead to 4-2. Johnson hit a sacrifice fly that scored Magadan with the fifth New York run of the game. Magrane got Strawberry to ground out to Smith and retired McReynolds on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Guerrero. Viola then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Redbirds' reliever Tom Niedenfuer yielded just a double to Elster in the top of the eighth. Viola gave up only a double to Coleman in the bottom of the inning and the Mets loaded the bases with two outs against Niedenfuer in the top of the ninth. The Cards' Scott Terry retired pinch-hitter Daryl Boston on a fly ball to Coleman to end the inning and Hudler drew a one-out walk in the bottom half. Oquendo was retired on a fly ball to left fielder McReynolds. Hudler stole second and Viola got Smith on a grounder to Elster for the game's final out. The Mets had a victory and a sweep of the series.