May 18, 1997: Eight Runs in 8th Bury Rockies

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Date: May 18, 1997
Mets starter: Dave Mlicki
Mets: 10
Rockies: 4
Winning pitcher: Takashi Kashiwada
Key player(s): Carlos Baerga, Bernard Gilkey, Butch Huskey
Key play: Mets’ walks in 8th, Gilkey’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Rockies on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played the third game of four in a series at Shea Stadium. The Mets scored eight runs in the eighth inning for a 10-4 win over Colorado.

Dave Mlicki and the Rockies’ Bobby Jones each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. With two outs in the top of the third, Jones singled and Eric Young drew a walk. Quinton McCracken hit a double to bring home Jones with the first run of the game. On the hit, Young was out via a relay throw by shortstop Rey Ordonez to third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo to end the inning. Jones then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Mlicki hurled a scoreless top of the fourth. Bernard Gilkey drew a walk to begin the bottom of the inning. Butch Huskey hit a double to score Gilkey and advanced to third base on Carlos Baerga’s sacrifice bunt. An ensuing sacrifice fly by Alex Ochoa plated Huskey for a 2-1 Mets lead. Jones issued a walk to Alberto Castillo and got Ordonez on an inning-ending force play ground ball to third baseman Vinny Castilla. Mlicki set down all three Colorado batters in the top of the fifth. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases against Jones in the bottom half.

Mlicki limited the Mountain Men to a double by Larry Walker in the top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Castillo drew a walk and Ordonez singled to left field. Jones was replaced on the mound by Colorado reliever Jeff McCurry, who got pinch-hitter Matt Franco to hit a grounder to Castilla for an inning-ending double play. Leading off the top of the seventh, Castilla homered against the Mets’ Rick Trlicek to tie the game. Kirt Manwaring walked and moved to second base on Walt Weiss’s sacrifice bunt. Takashi Kashiwada came in to pitch for New York and struck out pinch-hitter Jason Bates. Young drew a walk as Manwaring went to third on a wild pitch. With McCracken at bat, Young stole second and Manwaring came home on catcher Castillo’s throwing error for a 3-2 Rockies lead. Kashiwada then retired McCracken on a fly ball to center fielder Carl Everett to end the inning.

Colorado’s Jerry DiPoto pitched a perfect bottom of the seventh. To begin the top of the eighth, Walker hit a single to center field. Dante Bichette followed with a double play grounder to Ordonez. Andres Galarraga came to bat and homered for the Rockies’ fourth run of the game. Kashiwada then walked Castilla and retired Manwaring on a fly ball to right fielder Ochoa for the inning’s final out.

Baerga got a one-out single against Colorado reliever Steve Reed in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter John Olerud drew a walk against the Rockies’ Mike Munoz and a walk by reliever Bruce Ruffin to pinch-hitter Todd Hundley loaded the bases. Ordonez drew a walk to force home Baerga and a walk to pinch-hitter Manny Alexander plated pinch-runner Steve Bieser to tie the game. Mike DeJean came in to pitch for the Mountain Men and issued a walk (the fifth in a row) to Everett that scored Hundley to put the Mets ahead. Alfonzo singled to score Ordonez and a single by Gilkey brought home Alexander and Everett. Huskey singled to bring home Alfonzo and increase the Mets’ lead to 9-4. Against Colorado’s Darren Holmes, Baerga doubled to score Gilkey for the Mets’ eight run of the inning and tenth of the game. Bieser was retired on a ground ball to second baseman Young. Holmes then struck out Hundley to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Cory Lidle got Weiss to ground out to second baseman Alexander to start the top of the ninth. Jeff Reed followed with a single to right field. Lidle then got Young on a ground ball to Alfonzo for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory with a late scoring outburst.