September 2, 1998: Three Homers Put Away Padres

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Date: September 2, 1998
Mets starter: Armando Reynoso
Mets: 4
Padres: 1
Winning pitcher: Armando Reynoso
Key player(s): Armando Reynoso, Lenny Harris, Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza
Key play: Mets’ home runs

The Mets faced the Padres on a Wednesday night in San Diego. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Three home runs lifted the Mets to a 4-1 win.

Padres’ starter Andy Ashby set down the side in order in the top of the first inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Tony Gwynn homered against the Mets’ Armando Reynoso for a 1-0 San Diego lead. Greg Vaughn and John Vander Wal drew back-to-back walks and George Arias flied out to right fielder Lenny Harris to end the inning. Harris connected for a two-out homer in the top of the second, tying the game at 1-1. Ashby retired Carlos Baerga on a ground ball to shortstop Chris Gomez for the inning’s third out. Reynoso then yielded just a single to Carlos Hernandez in the bottom half.

Rey Ordonez drew a walk to open the top of the third. Reynoso followed with a force play grounder to third baseman Arias. Tony Phillips grounded out to first baseman Vander Wal and a home run by Edgardo Alfonzo gave the Mets a 3-1 lead. Ashby retired John Olerud on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Steve Finley, who walked with one out in the bottom half. Reynoso then retired Gwynn on a ground ball to first baseman Olerud and struck out Vaughn to end the inning.

Leading off the top of the fourth, Mike Piazza homered for the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Brian McRae reached on Gomez’s error and Ashby set down the next three batters to close out the inning. Reynoso hurled a perfect bottom half and doubled to lead off the top of the fifth. Ashby retired both Phillips and Alfonzo on fly balls to right fielder Gwynn and threw a called third strike past Olerud to end the inning. Reynoso then gave up only a single to Gomez in the bottom half.

Reynoso and Padres’ reliever Brian Boehringer each pitched scoreless ball from the sixth inning to the eighth. San Diego’s Scott Sanders retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth and Gwynn singled against the Mets’ John Franco to begin the bottom half. Vaughn hit a force play grounder to third baseman Alfonzo and a strikeout of pinch-hitter Jim Leyritz ensued. Franco then retired Arias on a ground ball to Alfonzo for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory on a trio of homers.