September 27, 1995: Person's First Major League Win

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Date: September 27, 1995
Mets starter: Robert Person
Mets: 5
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Robert Person
Key player(s): Robert Person, Jose Vizcaino, Rico Brogna
Key play: Vizcaino’s and Brogna’s singles in 2nd

The Mets and Reds faced each other in a doubleheader on a Wednesday evening at Shea Stadium. In the opener of the twinbill, Robert Person took the mound for the Mets in his first major league start. Person pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for his first win as the Mets defeated Cincinnati, 5-4.

Person allowed only a single to Barry Larkin in shutting down the Reds in the top of the first inning. Cincinnati’s John Smiley pitched a perfect bottom half. In the top of the second, Hal Morris led off with a home run for a 1-0 Reds lead. Person struck out Benito Santiago and retired Bret Boone on a ground ball to shortstop Jose Vizcaino. Person then issued a walk to Jeff Branson and struck out Smiley to end the inning.

Rico Brogna reached on first baseman Morris’s error with one out in the bottom of the second. An ensuing triple by Edgardo Alfonzo scored Brogna to tie the game. Smiley got Ryan Thompson to fly out to right fielder Reggie Sanders and got Kelly Stinnett for an inning-ending strikeout. Person then retired all three Cincinnati batters in the top of the third.

Person singled to begin the bottom of the third inning. Robert advanced to third base on Alex Ochoa’s double and scored the go-ahead run on an infield single by Vizcaino. Carl Everett popped out to Morris and a double by Kent brought home Ochoa. Brogna followed with a single to plate Vizcaino and Kent for a 5-1 Mets lead. Alfonzo singled to center field and Thompson popped out to catcher Santiago. Smiley then retired Stinnett on a pop-up to shortstop Larkin for the third out.

From the fourth inning to the sixth, Person and Smiley each pitched scoreless ball. Robert yielded a single to Branson in the fifth and issued a sixth-inning walk to Sanders, but set down all other Reds hitters. Smiley gave up a pair of singles in the fourth and retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the fifth. Person singled for his second hit of the game with one out in the sixth. Smiley responded by getting Ochoa to hit into an inning-ending double play. Person then completed his night with a perfect top of the seventh.

Cincinnati reliever Hector Carrasco shut down the Mets in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Lenny Harris led off the top of the eighth with a single against Mets’ reliever Paul Byrd. Harris went to third on a single by Thomas Howard and came home on Mark Lewis’s sacrifice fly. Ron Gant flied out and Sanders singled. Byrd threw a called third strike past Morris for the third out of the inning. Reds’ reliever Chuck McElroy then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

John Franco came in to pitch for the Mets in the top of the ninth. Following a leadoff walk to Santiago, Franco struck out Boone and pinch-hitter Darren Lewis. A pinch-hit single by Mariano Duncan kept the Reds’ hopes alive. Pinch-hitter Brian Hunter singled to score Santiago. On the play, Duncan scored the fourth Cincinnati run after an error by second baseman Tim Bogar. Franco then got Lewis to fly out to right fielder Ochoa and end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader as Person recorded his first major league win.