May 6, 1987: Aguilera and Orosco Stifle Reds

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Date: May 6, 1987
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 3
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Rick Aguilera, Jesse Orosco, Dave Magadan, Lenny Dykstra
Key play: Magadan’s and Dykstra’s RBI singles

The Mets faced the Reds on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Rick Aguilera and Jesse Orosco combined for eleven strikeouts in a 3-2 Mets win over Cincinnati.

Kal Daniels singled against Aguilera to lead off the top of the first inning. Kurt Stillwell singled and a wild pitch advanced Daniels to third base. Another wild pitch moved Stillwell to second and enabled Daniels to come home for a 1-0 Reds lead. Dave Parker and Eric Davis went down on strikes and Aguilera retired Buddy Bell on a ground ball to second baseman Wally Backman for the third out. Consecutive bunt singles by Lenny Dykstra and Backman opened the bottom of the first. Dykstra went to third base after Keith Hernandez’s fly out to center fielder Davis and scored the tying run on Gary Carter’s ground out to second baseman Ron Oester. Cincinnati starter Mario Soto then got Darryl Strawberry on a grounder to shortstop Stillwell to end the inning.

Aguilera pitched a scoreless top of the second. With one out in the bottom half, Howard Johnson singled and stole second base. Dave Magadan followed with a single to drive home Johnson and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. A sacrifice bunt by Aguilera sent Magadan to second base and Dykstra grounded out to first baseman Terry Francona to finish off the inning. Aguilera shut down the Reds in the top of the third. Soto then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Aguilera fanned Oester to end a perfect top of the fourth. Soto set down all three batters in the bottom of the inning and went down on strikes to open the top of the fifth. Daniels was struck out and Stillwell singled. Parker grounded out to Backman to end the inning and Magadan drew a walk against Soto to begin the bottom half. Dave advanced to second base on Aguilera’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Dykstra for a 3-1 Mets lead. Dykstra stole second and Backman lined out to Oester. Hernandez was walked intentionally and Carter drew a walk that loaded the bases. Cincinnati reliever Rob Murphy then retired Strawberry on a fly ball to Davis for the inning’s third out.

Aguilera retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Magadan and Aguilera got back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom half. Murphy struck out Dykstra to end the inning and Aguilera recorded a strikeout of pinch-hitter Tracy Jones to finish off a perfect top of the seventh. Reds’ reliever Ron Robinson hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and singles by Daniels and Stillwell began the top of the eighth. Parker and Davis were struck out and Bell singled to bring home Daniels with the second Cincinnati run of the game. Aguilera fanned Bo Diaz to close out the inning. Robinson then yielded only a double to Magadan in the bottom half.

Pinch-hitter Dave Concepcion singled against Orosco to lead off the top of the ninth. Oester hit a force play grounder to third baseman Johnson and a strikeout of pinch-hitter Lloyd McClendon followed. Orosco then fanned Daniels for the Mets’ eleventh strikeout to end the game. The Mets had a victory with solid pitching.