May 13, 1998: Baerga and Jones Lead Mets Past Padres

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Date: May 13, 1998
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 4
Padres: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Bobby Jones, Carlos Baerga, Matt Franco
Key play: Baerga’s home run, Matt Franco’s double

The Mets faced the Padres on a Wednesday night in San Diego. The teams played the second of four games in a series at Qualcomm Stadium. Carlos Baerga hit a three-run homer and Bobby Jones pitched eight solid innings in a 4-3 Mets win.

Matt Franco got an infield single against Padres’ starter Joey Hamilton with one out in the top of the first inning. Bernard Gilkey flied out to right fielder Tony Gwynn and a single by John Olerud followed. Baerga slugged a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Rich Becker singled and Hamilton got Alberto Castillo on a force play ground ball to shortstop Chris Gomez that ended the inning. Jones then held the Padres to a single by Gwynn in the bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Hamilton set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth. Jones retired Gwynn and Wally Joyner on consecutive outfield flies to begin the bottom half. Greg Vaughn homered for the first San Diego run of the game and Greg Myers went down on strikes to end the inning. To open the top of the fifth, Brian McRae hit a double to center field. An ensuing double by Matt Franco scored McRae for a 4-1 Mets lead. Gilkey took a called third strike and Olerud was given an intentional walk. Baerga grounded out to second baseman Ed Giovanola and an intentional walk to Becker loaded the bases. Hamilton retired Castillo on an inning-ending grounder to Giovanola. Jones then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Following a scoreless sixth, San Diego reliever Ben VanRyn set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Jones hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and the Padres’ Carlos Reyes shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth. With one out in the bottom half, Steve Finley reached on an error by first baseman Olerud. Jones got Giovanola on a ground ball to second baseman Baerga for a double play to end the inning. Reyes then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

Gwynn singled against Mets’ reliever John Franco to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Joyner grounded out to Olerud and an ensuing homer by Vaughn (his second of the game) cut the New York lead to one run. Pinch-hitter Eddie Williams flied out to right fielder Becker. John Franco then struck out Andy Sheets to end the game. The Mets had a victory over the National League West Division leaders.