May 19, 1998: Castillo's and Huskey's Big Hits Burn Reds

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Date: May 19, 1998
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 7
Reds: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Alberto Castillo, Butch Huskey
Key play: Castillo’s double, Huskey’s home run

The Mets faced the Reds in a doubleheader on a Tuesday evening. The teams played a two-hour and sixteen-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. Extra-base hits by Alberto Castillo and Butch Huskey provided five runs in a 7-3 Mets win over Cincinnati.

Jon Nunnally hit a home run to lead off the top of the first inning. Mets’ starter Bobby Jones retired the next three batters and the Reds’ Brett Tomko pitched a perfect bottom half. Jones hurled a scoreless top of the second and Carlos Baerga singled with one out on the bottom of the inning. Baerga advanced to second base on an error by center fielder Reggie Sanders and a walk to Bernard Gilkey ensued. Castillo hit a double to drive home Baerga and Gilkey for a 2-1 Mets lead. Rey Ordonez grounded out to second baseman Bret Boone to move Castillo to third. Tomko then struck out Jones to finish off the inning.

Jones and Tomko each pitched scoreless and hitless ball in the third and fourth. To begin the top of the fifth, Willie Greene hit a single and Sanders was hit by a pitch. Jones set down the next three Cincinnati hitters on infield grounders to end the inning and Ordonez got a one-out single in the bottom half. Ordonez went to second base on Jones’ sacrifice bunt and came home on a double by Brian McRae. A single by Edgardo Alfonzo scored McRae with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. John Olerud followed with a single on which right fielder Nunnally made an error that put runners on second and third. Huskey followed with a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 7-1. Reds’ reliever Danny Graves then came in to pitch and got Baerga on a ground ball to Boone for the inning’s final out.

Jones and Graves each hurled perfect sixth and seventh innings. With one out in the top of the eighth, pinch-hitter Lenny Harris hit a double. Nunnally went down on strikes and Barry Larkin followed with a two-run homer. Jones issued a walk to Dmitri Young and retired Ed Taubensee on a line drive to left fielder Gilkey to end the inning. Cincinnati reliever Gabe White then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Boone bunted back to Mets’ reliever Greg McMichael to open the top of the ninth inning. Greene was hit by a pitch and Chris Stynes was struck out. McMichael then fanned Sean Casey to end the game. The Mets had begun the doubleheader with a victory.