May 15, 1995: Three-Run 8th Overcomes Expos

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Date: May 15, 1995
Mets starter: Pete Harnisch
Mets: 5
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Josias Manzanillo
Key player(s): Jose Vizcaino, Bobby Bonilla, Edgardo Alfonzo
Key play: Bonilla’s and Alfonzo’s singles in 8th

The Mets faced the Expos on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a four-game overlapping weekend series. The Mets scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 5-3 win over Montreal.

Tony Tarasco got a bunt single against Mets’ starter Pete Harnisch to lead off the top of the first. Wil Cordero followed with a ground ball on which first baseman Rico Brogna threw to shortstop Jose Vizcaino for a force out on Tarasco. Roberto Kelly was hit by a pitch and Darrin Fletcher reached on an error by Vizcaino that allowed Cordero to come home. Kelly advanced to third base on Rondell White’s force play grounder to Vizcaino and scored the Expos’ second run on a single by Mike Lansing. Harnisch struck out Cliff Floyd to end the inning. Montreal’s Gil Heredia then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Harnisch retired all twelve Expos batters from the second inning to the fifth. Meanwhile, the Mets failed to score despite four singles against Heredia. To begin the top of the sixth, Cordero singled and stole second base. Kelly was called out on strikes and Fletcher grounded out to second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo to move Cordero to third. Harnisch fanned Rondell White to close out the inning and Brett Butler hit a single to open the bottom half. Butler advanced to third on Vizcaino’s ensuing single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brogna. Vizcaino moved to third on Bobby Bonilla’s single and came home with the tying run on Joe Orsulak’s sacrifice fly. Heredia then got Alfonzo to ground out to third baseman Mark Grudzielanek and finish off the inning.

Grudzielanek tripled with one out in the top of the seventh. Shane Andrews followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Grudzielanek and give the Expos a 3-2 lead. Harnisch retired pinch-hitter Chad Fonville on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Butler and Montreal relievers Bryan Eversgerd and Jeff Shaw combined for a scoreless bottom half. For the Mets, reliever Josias Manzanillo yielded just a single to Tarasco in the top of the eighth.

Vizcaino drew a walk to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. Jose advanced to second base on Brogna’s single and scored on a single by Bonilla to retie the game. Shaw was replaced on the mound by Expos’ reliever Ugueth Urbina, who issued a walk to Orsulak that loaded the bases. Alfonzo followed with a single to drive home Brogna and Bonilla, putting the Mets ahead by two runs. Todd Hundley laid down a sacrifice bunt against Montreal’s Gabe White to move the runners to second and third. Gabe White then struck out both Ricky Otero and pinch-hitter Kelly Stinnett to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever John Franco walked Rondell White to start the top of the ninth. Lansing flied out to right fielder Orsulak and a fly ball by Grudzielanek was caught by Butler. Franco then got Andrews to hit a force play grounder to third baseman Bonilla for the game’s final out. The Mets had a comeback victory to conclude the series.