October 2, 1991: Four-Run 11th Lifts Mets Over Pirates
|Date: October 2, 1991|
|Mets starter: Pete Schourek|
|Winning pitcher: John Franco|
|Key player(s): Gregg Jefferies, Gary Redus, Kevin McReynolds, Chris Donnels|
|Key play: Jefferies’ two-run single, Redus’s RBI single, McReynolds’ home run|
The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored four runs in the 11th inning to come away with a 9-6 win over the Bucs.
Pete Schourek and Pirates’ starter Randy Tomlin each pitched one-hit scoreless ball in the first and second innings. In the top of the third, Tomlin set down the Mets in order on three infield ground balls. Gary Redus tripled with one out in the bottom half. Jay Bell drew a walk and Andy Van Slyke popped out to second baseman Keith Miller. Back-to-back singles by Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds scored Redus and Bell, respectively, for a 2-0 Pittsburgh lead. Schourek then threw a called third strike past Steve Buechele for the third out.
Tomlin and Schourek hurled scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Kevin Elster singled to open the top of the sixth. With one out, Kevin McReynolds hit a single and Mark Carreon reached on an error by shortstop Bell to load the bases. Gregg Jefferies singled to bring home Elster and McReynolds with the tying runs. An infield single by Chris Donnels scored Carreon from third to put the Mets ahead. Charlie O'Brien flied out to right fielder Bonilla and a single by Schourek reloaded the bases. Miller singled to bring home Jefferies with the Mets’ fourth run. On the hit, Donnels was out at home on a throw by left fielder Bonds to catcher Don Slaught. Schourek then set down the Bucs in order on three outfield flies in the bottom of the inning.
Pirates’ reliever Bob Walk shut down the Mets in the top of the seventh. Schourek pitched a perfect bottom half and Donnels singled off Pittsburgh’s Bill Landrum with one out in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Todd Hundley grounded out to first baseman Redus to move Donnels to second base. Chris came around to score on a single by pinch-hitter Mackey Sasser. Miller followed with an infield single to advance Sasser to third. Landrum then retired Elster on a fly ball to Bonds that ended the inning.
Van Slyke doubled off Mets’ reliever Tony Castillo to start the bottom of the eighth. Bonilla grounded out to first baseman Donnels to move pinch-runner Cecil Espy to third. Bonds hit a sacrifice fly to plate Espy and reduce the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Castillo got Curt Wilkerson on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder McReynolds. Bucs’ reliever Bob Kipper then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.
Facing reliever John Franco, Slaught reached on an error by shortstop Elster to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Carlos Garcia tripled to drive home Slaught with the Pirates’ fourth run. Lloyd McClendon grounded out to Elster and a single by Redus scored Garcia to tie the game. Bell grounded back to Franco for an inning-ending double play. Pittsburgh reliever Roger Mason shut down the Mets in the top of the 10th. The Bucs had runners on first and third with none out in the bottom half. Franco then struck out pinch-hitter Mike LaValliere and got Wilkerson on a line drive to third baseman Donnels (who had shifted from first) for an unassisted double play to end the inning.
Pirates’ reliever Bob Patterson walked Elster and yielded a single to Howard Johnson to open the top of the 11th. McReynolds followed with a home run to give the Mets an 8-5 lead. Patterson struck out Daryl Boston and retired pinch-hitter Vince Coleman on a ground ball to second baseman Wilkerson. Donnels hit a double and scored the Mets’ fourth run of the inning on a single by Hundley. Patterson then got Garry Templeton on a grounder to Redus for the third out.
Slaught and Garcia got back-to-back singles off the Mets’ Tim Burke to start the bottom of the 11th inning. McClendon went down on strikes and Redus flied out to right fielder Johnson. Bell hit a double to score Slaught and send Garcia to third base. Burke then retired Espy on a game-ending pop-up to Miller. The Mets had a victory to close out the series.