June 4, 1988: McReynolds Homers in 13th

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Date: June 4, 1988
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 6
Cubs: 5
Winning pitcher: Jeff Innis
Key player(s): Gary Carter, Kevin McReynolds
Key play: Carter’s singles in 9th and 11th, Capel’s wild pitch, McReynolds’ home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played their second 13-inning game in three days. Just like the game from two days earlier, the Mets came away with a win via a home run on the final pitch. Kevin McReynolds did the honors to give the Mets a 6-5 victory over Chicago.

Following a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Ron Darling retired the Cubs in order in the top of the second. Darryl Strawberry doubled off Chicago’s Les Lancaster to begin the bottom half. McReynolds got an infield single on which Strawberry stayed at second base. Darryl moved to third on Howard Johnson’s fly ball to right fielder Andre Dawson and scored on a sacrifice fly by Barry Lyons. Lancaster then got Kevin Elster to foul out to catcher Jody Davis and end the inning.

Darling and Lancaster each pitched one-hit scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Darling set down all three Cubs batters. Dave Magadan singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. An ensuing triple by Strawberry plated Magadan with the Mets’ second run of the game. McReynolds flied out to Dawson and a single by Johnson scored Strawberry for a 3-0 New York lead. Lyons lined out to left fielder Rafael Palmeiro for the third out and Darling pitched a perfect top of the seventh. Chicago reliever Pat Perry then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

The Cubs loaded the bases on three consecutive singles off Darling to open the top of the eighth inning. Mets’ reliever Randy Myers walked pinch-hitter Darrin Jackson to force home Davis with the first Chicago run. Pinch-hitter Damon Berryhill popped out to third baseman Johnson and a ground out by Palmeiro scored Vance Law. Reliever Roger McDowell walked Dawson intentionally to load the bases and retired Ryne Sandberg on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Elster. Cubs’ reliever Frank DiPino then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Mark Grace led off the top of the ninth inning with a single to right field. Davis lined out to Elster and a single by Law followed. Shawon Dunston singled to load the bases and Jackson popped out to first baseman Keith Hernandez. A pinch-hit single by Manny Trillo drove home Grace and Law to put the Cubs ahead, 4-3. McDowell then retired Palmeiro on a grounder to second baseman Wally Backman for the final out of the inning.

Johnson singled off Chicago’s Rich Gossage to start the bottom of the ninth. Howard advanced to second base on Lyons’ sacrifice bunt and to third on a single by pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli. As a pinch-hitter for McDowell, Gary Carter singled to score Johnson and tie the game. Lenny Dykstra fouled out to Palmeiro and a ground ball by Backman to second baseman Sandberg closed out the inning. Mets’ reliever Terry Leach held the Cubs to a single by Sandberg in the top of the 10th. Gossage then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Law singled to open the top of the 11th inning. Dunston’s sacrifice bunt and Jackson’s ground out to Hernandez advanced Law to third base. Sandberg reached on an error by shortstop Johnson (who had shifted from third) that allowed Law to come home for a 5-4 Chicago lead. Palmeiro followed with a single to left field. Leach then got Dawson on a foul pop-up to catcher Lyons to end the inning.

Cubs’ reliever Mike Capel retired Johnson on a fly ball to Dawson to begin the bottom of the 11th. Lyons reached on an error by third baseman Law and pinch-hitter Mookie Wilson hit into a force play. With the Mets only an out away from defeat, Carter singled to send Wilson to third base. Capel threw a wild pitch that allowed Mookie to score the tying run. Dykstra hit a fly ball to Palmeiro for the third out and reliever Jeff Innis shut down the Cubs in the top of the 12th. Capel then retired the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning.

Innis pitched a perfect top of the 13th. McReynolds came up to lead off the bottom half. Kevin hit a pitch from Capel over the wall for a game-ending home run. It was the Mets’ second win in three days over Chicago that came about on a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 13th inning.