May 16, 1996: Twelve Hits Put Away Padres

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Date: May 16, 1996
Mets starter: Pete Harnisch
Mets: 6
Padres: 3
Winning pitcher: Pete Harnisch
Key player(s): Todd Hundley, Jeff Kent, Lance Johnson
Key play: Hundley’s home run, Kent’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Padres on a Thursday afternoon in San Diego. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets collected twelve hits in a 6-3 win.

Padres’ starter Joey Hamilton gave up only a single to Jose Vizcaino in the top of the first inning. The Mets’ Pete Harnisch yielded just a single to Tony Gwynn in the bottom half. Leading off the top of the second, Todd Hundley homered for the first run of the game. Jeff Kent hit a single and Carl Everett went down on strikes. Rey Ordonez singled and Harnisch was struck out. Lance Johnson followed with a single to score Kent for a 2-0 Mets lead. Hamilton retired Vizcaino on a line drive to center fielder Steve Finley to end the inning. Harnisch then pitched a perfect bottom half.

After a scoreless third, Hamilton surrendered only a walk to Kent in the top of the fourth. Finley hit a triple to lead off the bottom of the inning. Tony Gwynn grounded out to second baseman Vizcaino to drive home Finley and cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1. Harnisch fanned Wally Joyner and got Scott Livingstone on an inning-ending line drive to shortstop Ordonez. Consecutive singles by Johnson and Vizcaino began the top of the fifth. Bernard Gilkey singled to load the bases and Rico Brogna followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Johnson. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and Hundley was walked intentionally to load the bases once again. Kent hit a single to plate Vizcaino and Gilkey for a 5-1 New York lead. Everett grounded to second baseman Jody Reed for a double play that ended the inning. Harnisch then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Ordonez got a leadoff single against Hamilton in the top of the sixth. Harnisch was struck out on a failed bunt attempt and singles by Johnson and Vizcaino (the Mets’ eleventh and twelfth hits) loaded the bases. Against San Diego reliever Scott Sanders, Gilkey hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Ordonez with the sixth New York run. Brogna hit a force play grounder to shortstop Luis Lopez for the inning’s third out. Harnisch then held the Padres to a double by Finley in the bottom half.

Sanders hurled a perfect top of the seventh. Joyner singled to open the bottom of the inning. Livingstone hit a single and Reed flied out to right fielder Everett. Pinch-hitter Chris Gwynn grounded out to Vizcaino to advance the runners to second and third base. Brad Ausmas reached on Everett’s error that allowed both Joyner and Livingstone to come home. Harnisch then retired Lopez on a grounder to Vizcaino to finish off the inning.

Padres’ reliever Bryce Florie pitched a perfect top of the eighth. The Mets’ Dave Mlicki set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half and San Diego’s Willie Blair retired all three batters in the top of the ninth. New York’s John Franco got Joyner on a ground ball to Ordonez to begin the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Craig Shipley grounded out to Vizcaino. Franco then retired Reed on a fly ball to Everett for the game’s final out. The Mets had a series-closing victory.