September 13, 1991: Johnson and McReynolds Slug Redbirds
|Date: September 13, 1991|
|Mets starter: Frank Viola|
|Winning pitcher: Tim Burke|
|Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Kevin McReynolds|
|Key play: Johnson’s and McReynolds’ home runs|
The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night in St. Louis. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Howard Johnson and Kevin McReynolds hit two-run homers in a 4-2 Mets win in 10 innings.
Kevin Elster doubled against Cards’ starter Mark Clark with one out in the top of the first. Johnson followed with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Clark got McReynolds to fly out to center fielder Ray Lankford and retired Gregg Jefferies on a ground ball to second baseman Geronimo Pena for the third out. Mets’ starter Frank Viola pitched a scoreless bottom half and Daryl Boston got a one-out single in the top of the second. Boston stole second base and Charlie O'Brien grounded out to shortstop Ozzie Smith. Viola drew a walk and Clark got Keith Miller to hit a force play grounder to Smith that closed out the inning. Pena and Ray Stephens got back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom half. Viola then retired Clark on a line drive to right fielder Johnson to end the inning.
Clark yielded only a single to Elster in the top of the third. Viola hurled a perfect bottom half and Clark shut down the Mets again in the top of the fourth. Todd Zeile hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Felix Jose followed with a two-run homer to tie the game. Craig Wilson singled and advanced to third base on a single by Pena. Stephens went down on strikes and Clark hit a ground ball on which first baseman Chris Donnels threw to catcher O’Brien for an out at home on Wilson. With Lankford at bat, Clark was caught by O’Brien’s pickoff throw to Donnels for the final out of the inning.
After scoreless fifth and sixth innings, Viola singled against Clark with one out in the top of the seventh. Miller flied out to left fielder Wilson and a wild pitch moved Viola to second base. Elster drew a walk and St. Louis reliever Scott Terry retired Johnson on an inning-ending pop-up to Pena. Viola set down the Cardinals in order in the bottom half and the Redbirds’ Willie Fraser pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Viola set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and Fraser gave up just a single to Boston in the top of the ninth. Mets’ reliever Tim Burke then hurled a scoreless bottom half to send the game onward.
Johnson drew a two-out walk in the top of the 10th. McReynolds followed with a homer to put the Mets ahead by two runs. Fraser got Jefferies on a grounder to first baseman Gerald Perry that finished off the inning and Pena grounded out to shortstop Elster to open the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Milt Thompson went down on strikes. Burke then retired pinch-hitter Luis Alicea on a fly ball to center fielder Boston for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory in extra innings.