May 24, 1991: Cone Fans 12 in Win Over Cardinals

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Date: May 24, 1991
Mets starter: David Cone
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 2
Winning pitcher: David Cone
Key player(s): David Cone, Keith Miller
Key play: Miller’s double and home run, Cone’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. David Cone struck out twelve batters and helped his own cause with a two-run single in leading the Mets to a 6-2 win over St. Louis.

Cone and the Cards’ Bryn Smith each began the game with two scoreless innings. The pitchers yielded a combined total of three singles recorded two strikeouts apiece. Cone threw a called third strike past Bryn Smith to start the top of the third. Milt Thompson singled and moved to second base on Ozzie Smith’s ground out. A single by Ray Lankford scored Thompson for the first run of the game. Lankford stole second and came home on Pedro Guerrero’s single. The inning ended with Guerrero being thrown out at home after a single by Felix Jose. With two outs in the bottom half, Keith Miller hit a double that brought home Vince Coleman from first to cut the St. Louis lead to 2-1. Bryn Smith then retired Dave Magadan on a ground ball to second baseman Geronimo Pena for the third out.

In the top of the fourth inning, Cone fanned Todd Zeile and Tom Pagnozzi in shutting down the Redbirds. Howard Johnson got a one-out single in the bottom half. Kevin McReynolds flied out to center fielder Lankford and a double by Mackey Sasser advanced Johnson to third. Kevin Elster drew a walk to load the bases. Cone followed with a single that plated Johnson and Sasser to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Coleman flied out to right fielder Jose to end the inning. David then struck out Thompson to begin a perfect top of the fifth.

Miller homered to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Magadan grounded out to shortstop Ozzie Smith and a single by Hubie Brooks followed. Bryn Smith set down Johnson and McReynolds on consecutive fly balls to Jose. Cone fanned Jose and Zeile in retiring the Cardinals in order in the top of the sixth. Bryn Smith pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. David then recorded his ninth and tenth strikeouts in a perfect top of the seventh.

Magadan got a two-out single off St. Louis reliever Tim Sherrill in the bottom of the seventh inning. Brooks singled to move Magadan to second base. A single by Johnson scored Magadan to increase the Mets’ lead to 5-2. McReynolds singled to bring home pinch-runner Daryl Boston for the sixth New York run. Pinch-hitter Mark Carreon got the Mets’ fifth straight single to load the bases. Sherrill then retired Elster on an inning-ending fly ball to Lankford.

Cone shut down the Redbirds in the top of the eighth. David opened the bottom half with a single and went to second on a single by Coleman. Sherrill set down the next three batters to close out the inning. To begin the top of the ninth, Cone threw a called third strike past Jose and gave up a single to Zeile. David fanned Pena for his twelfth strikeout of the game. Pagnozzi then hit a ground ball back to Cone for the game’s final out. The Mets had begun the series with a solid victory.