September 20, 1996: Wilson Wins Own Game With Homer

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Date: September 20, 1996
Mets starter: Paul Wilson
Mets: 5
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Paul Wilson
Key player(s): Paul Wilson, Lance Johnson, Bernard Gilkey
Key play: Wilson’s home run, Phils’ errors in 8th

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Friday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the second of four games in a weekend series. Paul Wilson won his own game with his first major league home run in a 5-2 Mets victory.

Lance Johnson singled against Phils’ starter Mike Mimbs to lead off the top of the first inning. Johnson advanced to third base on a single by Edgardo Alfonzo and came home on Bernard Gilkey’s double play ground ball to third baseman Kevin Sefcik. Mimbs retired Butch Huskey on a grounder to second baseman Mickey Morandini for the third out and Ricky Otero drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Morandini hit a double play ground ball to second baseman Tim Bogar and a single by Gregg Jefferies ensued. Wilson then got Benito Santiago to pop out to Bogar and end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Rey Ordonez singled to open the top of the third. Ordonez went to second base on Wilson’s sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a double by Johnson. Alfonzo and Gilkey were retired on fly balls to center fielder Otero to close out the inning and Wilson held the Phillies to a double by Desi Relaford in the bottom half. Mimbs pitched a perfect top of the fourth and Santiago got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Gene Schall followed with a home run to tie the game at 2-2. Wendell Magee drew a walk. Sefcik then hit a grounder back to Wilson for an inning-ending double play.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Wilson homered to put the Mets ahead by a run. Johnson grounded out to Morandini to finish off the inning and Paul set down the Phils in order in the bottom half. Gilkey drew a walk with one out in the top of the sixth. Huskey popped out to Morandini and a single by Alex Ochoa followed. Bogar went down on strikes to close out the inning. Wilson then retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Mimbs set down all three Mets batters in the top of the seventh. Wilson hurled a scoreless bottom of the inning and Johnson singled to lead off the top of the eighth. Lance moved to second base on Mimbs’ wild pitch and to third on Alfonzo’s sacrifice bunt. Against Philadelphia reliever Toby Borland, Gilkey reached second on an error by shortstop Relaford to drive home Johnson. Huskey was retired on a line drive to Relaford. Gilkey stole third and scored the Mets’ fifth run on catcher Santiago’s throwing error. Ochoa drew a walk and Borland got Bogar on an inning-ending force play grounder to Morandini. Wilson then gave up only a double to Otero in the bottom half.

Phillies’ reliever Russ Springer retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. For New York, John Franco got Jefferies on a ground ball to shortstop Ordonez to begin the bottom of the inning. Santiago hit a single to center field. Franco then got Schall to hit a grounder to Ordonez for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory with Wilson’s own homer putting them ahead to stay.