June 6, 1992: Mets Romp Pirates with 18 Hits

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Date: June 6, 1992
Mets starter: Sid Fernandez
Mets: 15
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Sid Fernandez
Key player(s): Sid Fernandez, Todd Hundley, Bobby Bonilla
Key play: Hundley’s three-run homer in 4th, Mets’ five runs in 6th

The Mets and Pirates played on a Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Trailing the first-place Bucs by three games, the Mets had Sid Fernandez on the mound. Fernandez pitched a complete game and collected three of the Mets’ 18 hits as the team romped to a 15-1 victory.

Vince Coleman led off the top of the first inning with a double against Pittsburgh starter Denny Neagle. Willie Randolph singled to move Coleman to third base and advanced to second on Howard Johnson’s ground out. Eddie Murray hit a fly ball to left fielder Barry Bonds on which Coleman tagged up and scored the first run of the game. An ensuing single by Bobby Bonilla drove home Randolph for a 2-0 Mets lead. Neagle retired Dave Magadan on a fly ball to right fielder Orlando Merced for the third out of the inning. Fernandez gave up one-out singles to Jay Bell and Andy Van Slyke in the bottom half. After Jeff King flied out, Bonds singled to score Bell for the Pirates’ first run. Sid then got Steve Buechele to ground out to third baseman Magadan and end the inning.

Fernandez and Neagle each pitched one-hit scoreless ball in the second and third innings. To begin the top of the fourth, Bonilla and Magadan singled to put Met runners on first and third base. Dick Schofield followed with another single to bring home Bonilla. An ensuing home run by Todd Hundley plated three more runs to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Neagle set down the next three batters and Fernandez pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning. Pittsburgh reliever Victor Cole (in his major league debut) shut down the Mets in the top of the fifth. Sid then retired the Bucs in order in the bottom half.

In the top of the sixth inning, Fernandez got a one-out double and Coleman drew a walk. Randolph singled to load the bases and Cole walked Johnson to force home Fernanadez. Against Pittsburgh’s Dennis Lamp, Murray singled to score Coleman and an error by Bonds allowed Randolph to cross the plate as well. Bonilla doubled to bring home Johnson and Murray for an 11-1 Met lead. Lamp got Schofield to hit into a double play for the final two outs of the inning. Fernandez then held the Pirates to two singles in a scoreless bottom half.

Lamp shut down the Mets despite Fernandez’s single and a walk to Coleman in the top of the seventh inning. Sid retired the Bucs 1-2-3 in the bottom half. With one out in the top of the eighth, Bonilla homered for the Mets’ twelfth run of the game. Lamp set down the next two New York batters. The Pirates were then retired in order by Fernandez again in the bottom half of the inning.

Fernandez singled for his third hit with one out in the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Daryl Boston followed with a single to right field. Chico Walker slugged a three-run homer for the Mets’ eighteenth hit of the game. Lamp then struck out Johnson and got Bill Pecota for an inning-ending ground out to third baseman Mike LaValliere.

In the bottom of the ninth, Don Slaught flied out to right fielder Bonilla. Jose Lind was retired on a grounder to second baseman Junior Noboa. Fernandez then got pinch-hitter Cecil Espy to fly out to Bonilla and end the game. The Mets had a win to lift them into second place only two games behind the division-leading Pirates in the National League East.