May 24, 1989: Darling and Aguilera Strike Out 13 in Shutout

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Date: May 24, 1989
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 3
Padres: 0
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Ron Darling, Rick Aguilera, Howard Johnson
Key play: Johnson’s double in 5th

The Mets faced the Padres on a Wednesday night in San Diego. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Jack Murphy Stadium. Ron Darling and Rick Aguilera combined for thirteen strikeouts in a 3-0 Mets win.

Darling and Padres’ starter Bruce Hurst each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the fourth. Ron struck four batters while Hurst fanned three as both yielded three hits apiece. To begin the top of the fifth, Hurst retired Darling on a pop-up to second baseman Roberto Alomar and got Mookie Wilson for his fourth strikeout. Gregg Jefferies followed with a single to left field. Howard Johnson hit a double to drive home Jefferies for the game’s first run. Darryl Strawberry flied out to right fielder Jack Clark to end the inning. Darling then pitched a perfect bottom half, during which he got Garry Templeton for his fifth strikeout of the game.

Hurst held the Mets to a single by Barry Lyons in a scoreless top of the sixth inning. To start the bottom half, Darling struck out John Kruk and gave up a single to Alomar. Tony Gwynn flied out to left fielder Kevin McReynolds. With Clark at bat, Alomar stole second base. Clark drew a walk and Darling fanned Rob Nelson for the third out of the inning. Leading off the top of the seventh, pinch-hitter Mark Carreon homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Hurst set down the next three batters on infield ground balls. Aguilera then came in to pitch for New York and struck out the side in a scoreless bottom of the inning.

San Diego reliever Greg Harris struck out Strawberry to open the top of the eighth. McReynolds homered for the Mets’ third run and Tim Teufel drew a walk. Lyons went down on strikes as Teufel stole second base and Kevin Elster was walked intentionally. Harris fanned Aguilera to end the inning. Rick struck out Kruk and retired Alomar on a ground ball to shortstop Elster to begin the bottom half. Gwynn hit a single to center field. Aguilera then got Clark to hit a force play grounder to Elster for the inning’s third out.

Harris shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth. Aguilera struck out Nelson to start the bottom half. Benito Santiago and Luis Salazar followed with back-to-back singles. Templeton went down on strikes for the second out of the inning. Aguilera then fanned pinch-hitter Carmelo Martinez to end the game. The Mets had a shutout victory that featured a total of thirteen strikeouts by Darling and Aguilera.