May 16, 1988: Carter's Homer in 7th Beats Padres

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Date: May 16, 1988
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 7
Padres: 4
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Gary Carter
Key play: Carter's home run

The Mets and Padres faced each other on a Monday night in San Diego. The teams combined for 21 hits in an offensive battle. The Mets came out with a 7-4 win on Gary Carter's three-run homer in the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the first, the Padres scored twice against Mets' starter Dwight Gooden. A one-out double by John Kruk brought home Dickie Thon from first base and Carmelo Martinez's single plated Kruk with two out. The Mets got a run against San Diego's Mark Grant in the second on Howard Johnson's single that scored Kevin McReynolds before Shawn Abner homered in the bottom half for a 3-1 Padre lead.

The Mets had runners on second and third base with one out in the top of the third inning. On a walk to McReynolds, Tim Teufel tried to score from third when the last pitch got away from San Diego catcher Benito Santiago. Recovering quickly, Santiago threw to Grant for the out on Teufel at the plate. With Carter batting, Grant threw a wild pitch on which Darryl Strawberry scored and followed with a walk to Gary. Reliever Candy Sierra then completed the inning for the Padres.

Thon's two-out single scored Abner to increase San Diego's lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the top of the fifth, Carter got a single with two out to bring home Keith Hernandez and cut the lead back to one run. The Mets tied the game in the sixth when Kevin Elster scored on the second straight wild pitch by the Padres' Keith Comstock.

Strawberry drew a walk from reliever Greg Booker to begin the top of the seventh. McReynolds followed with a single and Carter came to bat. Gary nailed a home run off Booker to give the Mets a three-run lead. Gooden and Mets' reliever Roger McDowell then held San Diego scoreless in the bottom of the inning.

McDowell retired the Padres in order in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the ninth, Roger pitched another perfect inning to end the game. The Mets had begun the four-game series with a victory that came about on Carter's homer.