June 30, 1995: Mets Outlast Reds in Slugfest

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Date: June 30, 1995
Mets starter: Dave Mlicki
Mets: 7
Reds: 6
Winning pitcher: Blas Minor
Key player(s): Rico Brogna, Bobby Bonilla, Todd Hundley
Key play: Mets’ & Reds’ six home runs

The Mets faced the Reds on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series with a three-hour and four-minute battle that featured six home runs. The Mets came out on top in the slugfest by capturing a 7-6 win over the Central Division-leading Cincinnati team.

Mets’ starter Dave Mlicki retired the first two batters in the top of the first inning. An ensuing home run by Ron Gant gave the Reds a 1-0 lead. Mlicki retired Reggie Sanders on a fly ball to left fielder Chris Jones for the third out and the Mets got back-to-back one-out singles from Jose Vizcaino and Rico Brogna in the bottom half. A sacrifice fly by Bobby Bonilla scored Vizcaino from third base to tie the game. Cincinnati starter Jose Rijo then walked Todd Hundley and got Jeff Kent to hit into an inning-ending force play.

Following a scoreless second inning, Rijo led off the top of the third with a double. Barry Larkin drew a walk and Thomas Howard hit a force play grounder that moved Rijo to third. Gant hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Rijo and put the Reds back on top. Howard stole second base and scored on Sanders’ double for a 3-1 Cincinnati lead. Mlicki retired Eric Anthony on a fly ball to right fielder Ryan Thompson that ended the inning. Rijo then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Leading off the top of the fourth, Ed Taubensee homered for the Reds’ fourth run of the game. Mlicki completed the inning with no further scoring despite a one-out triple by Jeff Branson. Bonilla hit a home run to begin the bottom half and Rijo threw called third strikes past three of the next four New York batters. Mlicki pitched a perfect top of the fifth and Rijo did the same in the bottom of the inning. Anthony hit a leadoff home run in the top of the sixth. Mlicki then set down the next three Cincinnati batters to close out the inning.

Trailing 5-2, the Mets came to bat against Reds’ reliever Xavier Hernandez in the bottom of the sixth. Bonilla drew a walk with one out and Hundley hit a two-run homer. Kent followed with a triple and Jones walked. For Cincinnati, Michael Jackson came in to pitch and got Thompson to fly out to left fielder Gant. Kent scored after the catch to knot the game at 5-5. Jackson retired pinch-hitter Jeff Barry on a ground ball to second baseman Bret Boone for the third out. Mets’ reliever Blas Minor then pitched a scoreless top of the seventh inning. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Vizcaino got a single off Reds’ reliever Chuck McElroy. Brogna followed with a home run (the sixth of the game) to put the Mets ahead, 7-5. Bonilla hit an ensuing triple, but was left at third as McElroy retired the next two batters on infield grounders. Gant doubled to lead off the top of the eighth and Minor struck out Sanders. Mets’ reliever John Franco then struck out Anthony and got Taubensee to line out to Thompson for the third out.

Cincinnati’s Hector Carrasco pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, Boone led off with a single and pinch-hitter Mark Lewis drew a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Jerome Walton advanced the runners to second and third. Larkin grounded out to shortstop Vizcaino to score Boone. Franco then got pinch-hitter Craig Worthington on a ground ball to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo that ended the game. The Mets had outlasted the first-place Reds in a battle of home runs.