May 28, 1994: Three Homers Rock Reds

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Date: May 28, 1994
Mets starter: Doug Linton
Mets: 5
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Mike Maddux
Key player(s): Bobby Bonilla, Ryan Thompson, Jeff Kent
Key play: Mets’ three home runs

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of a crowd of 20,605 fans on hand. A trio of home runs propelled the Mets to a 5-4 win over Cincinnati.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Hal Morris singled against Mets’ starter Doug Linton. An ensuing single by Roberto Kelly advanced Morris to third base. Thomas Howard hit a single to score Morris for the first run of the game. Linton struck out Reggie Sanders to end the inning and the Reds’ John Smiley pitched a perfect bottom half.

A single by Bret Boone opened the top of the second. Brain Dorsett lined out to left fielder Jim Lindeman and a sacrifice bunt by Smiley moved Boone to second base. Barry Larkin doubled to bring home Boone for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead. Linton walked Tony Fernandez and retired Morris on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Jeff Kent. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases against Smiley in the bottom half.

Linton and Smiley each pitched a perfect third inning. In the top of the fourth, Boone led off with a single and advanced to third base on a single by Dorsett. On Smiley’s failed squeeze attempt, Boone was caught in a rundown and tagged out by first baseman David Segui as Dorsett went to second. Smiley grounded out to Kent to move Dorsett on to third. Larkin singled to score Dorsett for the Reds’ third run of the game. Linton walked Fernandez and Mets’ reliever Mike Maddux threw a wild pitch to send the runners to second and third. Maddux then got Morris on a ground ball to shortstop Luis Rivera for the third out of the inning.

Bobby Bonilla led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run. Kent hit a double and advanced to third base on Segui’s sacrifice bunt. Ryan Thompson grounded out to second baseman Boone to score Kent and cut the Cincinnati lead to 3-2. Kelly Stinnett singled to right field and Smiley struck out Maddux to end the inning. Mike shut down the Reds in the top of the fifth and Smiley hurled a scoreless bottom half. Maddux then pitched a perfect top of the sixth.

Bonilla singled to begin the bottom of the sixth inning. Kent flied out to center fielder Kelly and a line drive by Segui was caught by shortstop Larkin. Thompson hit a two-run homer to put the Mets ahead, 4-3. Stinnett grounded out to Boone to end the inning. Fernandez hit a single to open the top of the seventh. Morris followed with a grounder to Rivera for a double play and Maddux got Kelly on a fly ball to center fielder Thompson for the third out. Smiley then retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Josias Manzanillo shut down the Reds in the top of the eighth. Against Cincinnati’s Johnny Ruffin with two outs in the bottom half, Kent hit the Mets’ third homer of the game for a 5-3 New York lead. Ruffin fanned Segui for the final out of the inning and the Mets’ John Franco struck out Dorsett to start the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell hit a home run and a walk to Larkin followed. Franco then got Fernandez to hit a ground ball to Rivera for a double play that ended the game. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory on the strength of three home runs.