June 3, 1997: Franco and Baerga Come Through in the 8th

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Date: June 3, 1997
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 2
Expos: 1
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Bobby Jones, Matt Franco, Carlos Baerga
Key play: Franco’s home run, Baerga’s double

The Mets faced the Expos on a Tuesday night. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series at Shea Stadium. The Mets scored twice in the eighth inning for a 2-1 win over Montreal.

Bobby Jones and the Expos’ Pedro Martinez each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the seventh. Jones allowed three hits and struck out five Montreal batters while Martinez recorded ten strikeouts and surrendered four hits to the Mets. To begin the top of the eighth, Mark Grudzielanek drew a walk and advanced to second base on Mike Lansing’s sacrifice bunt. Rondell White hit a double to score Grudzielanek for a 1-0 Expos lead. Jones then retired David Segui on a pop-up to shortstop Manny Alexander and got Darrin Fletcher to fly out to center fielder Carl Everett and end the inning.

Leading off the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Matt Franco hit a home run to tie the game. Pinch-hitter Luis Lopez went down on strikes and a single by Edgardo Alfonzo ensued. Martinez fanned John Olerud for his twelfth strikeout of the game and Todd Hundley drew a walk. Carlos Baerga doubled to drive home Alfonzo and put the Mets ahead by a run. Trying to score on the play, Hundley was out at home via a throw by right fielder Vladimir Guerrero to catcher Fletcher to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco struck out Henry Rodriguez to begin the top of the ninth. Guerrero singled to center field and pinch-hitter Sherman Obando was struck out. Franco then got pinch-hitter Andy Stankiewicz on a fly ball to left fielder Butch Huskey to end the game. The Mets had a comeback victory.