Remembering Mets History (1997) Edgardo Alfonzo's First Career Grand Slam Leads Mets to Win in St. Louis

 Thursday August 14th, 1997: Bobby Valentine's Mets were an improved team from the previous years. At this point they were 14 games over .500 at 67-53 in third place. 

Today they were in St. Louis playing Tony LaRussa's fourth place Cardinals (54-66) who were struggling 12 games under .500. In 1996 they had won the NL Central Division & would finish fourth this season, then third in 1999 before the Cards & Mets met up in the 2000 NLCS.

The Mets Bobby Jones (12-7) was having a fine year, he would finish with his best season going 15-9 with a 3.63 ERA. 

Tonight, he went up against St. Louis' Donovan Osbourne (2-4). Osborne was coming off his best season the previous year 13-9 with a 3.53 ERA. Tonight's game was at Busch Stadium in front of 28,411 fans.

The game went scoreless into the top of the 5th inning, Bernard Gilkey led off with a double & Todd Pratt. Gilkey was able to score on a little roller to second base from Rey Ordonez. With two men on Brian McRae reached when he hit another weak ground ball in the infield, this one to Gary Gaetti at third base. 

With the bases loaded Edgardo Alfonso stepped up to the plate.

Alfonso blasted Osborne's pitch over the Busch Stadium fence for a grand slam HR. It was one his first career grand slam, Alfonzo's four career grand slams, his 8th HR of the season.

In the 6th, Butch Huskey led off with a walk & then scored on Todd Pratt's double. The Cards got two runs on a Delino Deshield's two run HR. That year Deshield's hit 11 HRs 7 led the NL with 14 triples.

Trivia: Alfonso was in his third season with the Mets & it was the start of the best years of his career through 2002. In 1997 he batted .315 with 10 HRs 27 doubles 72 RBIs & a .391 on base %.


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