May 4, 1996: Three-Run Innings Put Away Cubs

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Date: May 4, 1996
Mets starter: Bobby Jones
Mets: 7
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Jones
Key player(s): Butch Huskey, Jeff Kent, Doug Henry
Key play: Huskey’s two singles, Kent’s home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday night in Chicago. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Wrigley Field. The Mets scored three runs in both the first and sixth innings for a 7-3 win.

Lance Johnson singled against Cubs’ starter Frank Castillo to lead off the top of the first. Johnson moved to second base on a balk and to third on Jose Vizcaino’s bunt single. Bernard Gilkey hit a single to score Johnson and send Vizcaino to third. Todd Hundley grounded out to second baseman Ryne Sandberg to drive home Vizcaino. Butch Huskey singled to plate Gilkey and increase the Mets’ lead to three runs. Castillo then struck out Carl Everett and retired Jeff Kent on a grounder to first baseman Leo Gomez that ended the inning.

Sandberg drew a walk against the Mets’ Bobby Jones with one out in the bottom of the first. Sammy Sosa singled to advance Sandberg to third base. Luis Gonzalez grounded out to first baseman Butch Huskey, who threw to shortstop Rey Ordonez for an out on Sosa and an inning-ending double play. Before the final out was made, Sandberg came home with the first Chicago run.

Bobby Jones and Castillo each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Gilkey doubled to lead off the top of the sixth. Hundley hit a ground ball on which Gilkey was out via shortstop Rey Sanchez’s throw to third baseman Todd Haney. During the play, Hundley reached second base. Huskey singled to drive home Hundley with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Everett followed with a force play grounder to Sanchez. Kent slugged a two-run homer to extend the New York lead to 6-1. Ordonez singled and Castillo got Bobby Jones on a force play grounder to Sanchez for the third out of the inning. Bobby then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.

Chicago reliever Terry Adams hurled a scoreless top of the seventh. Bobby Jones hit Scott Servais with a pitch to open the bottom of the inning. Haney singled and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base. Gomez grounded out to Ordonez to drive home Servais. Sanchez hit a single to score Haney and cut the Mets’ lead to 6-3. New York reliever Doug Henry struck out pinch-hitter Scott Bullett. With Brian McRae at bat, Sanchez was caught stealing on catcher Hundley’s throw to Ordonez for the inning’s final out.

Kent drew a two-out walk against Cubs’ reliever Doug Jones in the top of the eighth. Ordonez followed with a single to center field. Henry reached on an error by Haney that allowed Kent to come home with the Mets’ seventh run. Doug Jones retired Johnson on a pop-up to Sanchez to end the inning and Henry set down the side in order in the bottom half. Chicago’s Turk Wendell then yielded only a single to Hundley in the top of the ninth.

Gonzalez lined out to left fielder Chris Jones to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Servais was retired on a grounder to third baseman Kent. Henry then got Haney to pop out to Hundley and end the game. The Mets had a solid victory.