June 8, 1991: Hojo's Homer in 11th Beats Astros

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Date: June 8, 1991
Mets starter: Wally Whitehurst
Mets: 4
Astros: 3
Winning pitcher: Alejandro Pena
Key player(s): Hubie Brooks, Daryl Boston, Howard Johnson
Key play: Boston’s single in 9th, Johnson’s homer in 11th

The Mets faced the Astros on a Saturday night in Houston. The teams played the second of four games in an overlapping weekend series. Howard Johnson hit a home run in the 11th inning to give the Mets a 4-3 win.

Vince Coleman doubled off Astros’ starter Darryl Kile to begin the top of the first inning. Dave Magadan grounded out back to Kile and a fly out by Gregg Jefferies advanced Coleman to third base. Kevin McReynolds hit a double to score Coleman with the first run of the game. Johnson drew a walk and Hubie Brooks singled to drive home McReynolds. Kile walked Rick Cerone and retired Kevin Elster on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Ken Caminiti. Mets’ starter Wally Whitehurst then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Kile and Whitehurst each hurled two-hit scoreless ball in the second and third innings. The Mets were set down in order by Kile in the top of the fourth. Jeff Bagwell singled to open the bottom half. With one out, Bagwell stole second and Eric Yelding went down on strikes. Bagwell moved to third on catcher Cerone’s passed ball and came home on a single by Casey Candaele. Kile hit a grounder to third baseman Johnson for the third out and retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Whitehurst pitched a perfect bottom half. Kile then got Cerone for a double play grounder to shortstop Yelding that closed out a scoreless top of the sixth.

Mets’ reliever Rich Sauveur threw a called third strike past Eric Anthony to start the bottom of the sixth inning. Bagwell drew a walk and Caminiti homered for a 3-2 Houston lead. Yelding grounded out to shortstop Elster and a single by Candaele followed. Sauveur retired pinch-hitter Gerald Young on a pop-up to second baseman Jefferies to end the inning. Astros’ reliever Jim Corsi pitched a perfect top of the seventh. For New York, Doug Simons came in to pitch and set down all three Houston batters in the bottom half.

Corsi and Simons each pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Brooks opened the top of the ninth with a single to right field. An ensuing pinch-hit single by Daryl Boston scored pinch-runner Garry Templeton all the way from first to tie the game. Elster popped out to first baseman Bagwell and pinch-hitter Mark Carreon hit a grounder to Yelding for an inning-ending double play. Mets’ reliever Alejandro Pena retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Houston’s Mike Capel pitched a scoreless top of the 10th. Pena then shut down the Astros in the bottom of the inning.

Leading off the top of the 11th, Johnson homered to put the Mets ahead by a run. Capel struck out the next three batters and Mets’ reliever John Franco fanned Mark Davidson to begin the bottom half. Bagwell hit a single and Caminiti flied out to left fielder McReynolds. Yelding and Candaele got back-to-back singles to load the bases. Franco then retired pinch-hitter Rafael Ramirez on a pop-up to Jefferies to end the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory.