September 15, 1997: Five Homers and a Five-Run 10th

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Date: September 15, 1997
Mets starter: Brian Bohanon
Mets: 10
Phillies: 5
Winning pitcher: Cory Lidle
Key player(s): Butch Huskey, Bernard Gilkey, Brian McRae
Key play: Mets’ home runs, Gilkey’s single in 10th

The Mets faced the Phillies in a doubleheader on a Monday evening in Philadelphia. The teams played a three-hour and thirty-two minute opener of the twinbill at Veterans Stadium. The Mets hit five homers and scored five runs in the 10th inning for a 10-5 win over the Phils.

Phillies’ starter Matt Beach pitched a perfect top of the first. Rex Hudler singled against the Mets’ Brian Bohanon to lead off the bottom half. Mickey Morandini was retired on a line drive to center fielder Brian McRae. Hudler stole second base and came around to score on a single by Gregg Jefferies. Scott Rolen drew a walk and Mike Lieberthal hit a ground ball on which shortstop Rey Ordonez threw to third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo for a force out on Jefferies. Rico Brogna singled to score Rolen for a 2-0 Philadelphia lead. Bohanon then got Tony Barron to fly out to McRae and end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Beach set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Jefferies hit a double to open the bottom half. Rolen singled to bring home Jefferies with the Phils’ third run of the game. Bohanon retired both Lieberthal and Brogna on fly balls to right fielder Alex Ochoa and got Barron on an inning-ending grounder to Ordonez. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Butch Huskey homered to cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-1. Ochoa grounded back to Beech for the third out of the inning. Bohanon then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Beech retired all three Mets batters in the top of the fifth. Rolen drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Lieberthal doubled to score Rolen with the Phillies’ fourth run and Bohanon struck out Brogna to end the inning. Beech pitched a perfect top of the sixth and Barron (against Mets’ reliever Juan Acevedo) reached on Alfonzo’s error to begin the bottom half. Kevin Stocker flied out to Ochoa and a single by Beech ensued. Barron went to third base after pinch-hitter Midre Cummings’ fly out to Ochoa. Morandini singled to plate Barron and stretch the Philadelphia lead to 5-1. Acevedo then fanned Jefferies for the inning’s final out.

Bernard Gilkey hit a home run to lead off the top of the seventh. Huskey followed with his second homer of the game and Ochoa got an infield single. Beech set down the next three New York batters to close out the inning and Acevedo pitched a scoreless bottom half. With one out in the top of the eighth, McRae slugged a solo home run against Phillies’ reliever Jerry Spradlin. Alfonzo lined out to center fielder Cummings and a homer by Gilkey (his second and the Mets’ fifth) tied the game at 5-5. Spradlin struck out Huskey to finish off the inning. Mets’ reliever Cory Lidle then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Phils’ reliever Ricky Bottalico surrendered only a walk to Todd Pratt in the top of the ninth. Lidle pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and McRae drew a one-out walk against Philadelphia’s Ryan Karp in the top of the 10th. Alfonzo singled and Gilkey hit a single to drive home McRae. Huskey and Ochoa followed with singles off the Phillies’ Ken Ryan that plated Alfonzo and Gilkey, respectively. Luis Lopez hit a single to score Huskey for a 9-5 Mets lead. Pratt singled to bring home Ochoa with the fifth New York run of the inning. Ryan then got Carlos Baerga on a called third strike and retired pinch-hitter Matt Franco on a grounder to first baseman Brogna for the inning’s final out.

Mets’ reliever Mel Rojas threw a called third strike past Brogna to begin the bottom of the 10th. Barron was hit by a pitch. Rojas then got Stocker to hit a ground ball to second baseman Baerga for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory in extra innings to start the doubleheader.