May 2, 1997: Late-Inning Runs Beat Cards

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Date: May 2, 1997
Mets starter: Armando Reynoso
Mets: 7
Cardinals: 4
Winning pitcher: Greg McMichael
Key player(s): Greg McMichael, Butch Huskey, Alex Ochoa, Rey Ordonez
Key play: Huskey’s home run, Ordonez’s triple, Ochoa’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Three runs in the seventh and eighth innings lifted the Mets to a 7-4 win over St. Louis.

Mets’ starter Armando Reynoso yielded only a single to Delino DeShields in the top of the first. Carl Everett doubled against the Cards’ Donovan Osborne to lead off the bottom half. Edgardo Alfonzo popped out to catcher Mike DiFelice on a bunt attempt and a single by John Olerud drove home Everett for a 1-0 Mets lead. Osborne then got Bernard Gilkey to hit a ground ball to second baseman DeShields for a double play that closed out the inning.

Reynoso set down the side in order in the top of the second. Todd Hundley drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Butch Huskey connected for a two-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Carlos Baerga went down on strikes and Rey Ordonez grounded out to third baseman Mike Gallego. Reynoso and Everett followed with back-to-back singles. Osborne then retired Alfonzo on a fly ball to left fielder Ron Gant for the inning’s third out.

DeShields got a two-out triple in the top of the third. Royce Clayton singled to score DeShields and a walk to Ray Lankford ensued. Brian Jordan walked to load the bases and advanced to third on Gant’s single that brought home Clayton and Lankford with the tying runs. John Mabry reached on shortstop Ordonez’s error that allowed Jordan to score and put the Redbirds ahead, 4-3. Reynoso retired DiFelice on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Huskey. St. Louis reliever John Frascatore then retired all three batters in the bottom half.

Reynoso hurled a perfect top of the fourth. Huskey hit a double to open the bottom of the inning. Butch moved to third base on Baerga’s ground out to DeShields and scored on a triple by Ordonez to tie the game at 4-4. With Reynoso at bat, Ordonez got caught on a steal attempt and was tagged out by DiFelice. Reynoso took a called third strike to end the inning and the Cardinals failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the fifth. Frascatore then retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Reynoso held the Redbirds to a single by DeShields in the top of the sixth. St. Louis reliever T. J. Mathews pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and the Mets’ Greg McMichael surrendered just a walk to Lankford in the top of the seventh. Baerga got a leadoff double in the bottom half. Carlos went to third base on Ordonez’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a single by Alex Ochoa for a 5-4 Mets lead. Mathews struck out Everett and got Alfonzo to hit an inning-ending force play ground ball to Gallego. McMichael then pitched a scoreless top of the eighth.

Gilkey drew a one-out walk against Cards’ reliever Rick Honeycutt in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bernard advanced to second base on a balk and scored on a single by Hundley. Pinch-hitter Alberto Castillo followed with a single to send Hundley to third. On a wild pitch third strike to Baerga, Castillo moved to second and Hundley came home with the Mets’ seventh run of the game. Honeycutt then fanned Ordonez for the inning’s final out.

On a bunt attempt, DeShields grounded out to Mets’ reliever John Franco to open the top of the ninth. Clayton was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Ochoa. Franco then threw a called third strike past Lankford to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.

Notes

  • This was Honeycutt’s final game of his 21-season major league career