New York Mets third baseman Howard Johnson let Tito Landrum's ground ball get past him for an error that allowed two runs to score in the 13th inning and gave the visiting St. Louis Cardinals a 6-2 victory yesterday.
Johnson's error with the bases loaded and none out broke open the game between two National League East teams that played six extra-inning games and 11 one-run decisions against each other last season.
St. Louis starter Ricky Horton went seven innings and gave up one run on two hits; New York's Gooden worked eight innings and yielded two runs on five hits and struck out six.
Willie McGee, who entered the game 11 for 23 against Gooden, tied the game, 1-1, in the sixth with an RBI single and put the Cardinals ahead in the eighth with a sacrifice fly. The Mets sent the game into extra innings in the ninth on Darryl Strawberry's RBI single.
In the Cardinals' 13th, McGee led off with an infield single. Randy Niemann (0-2) fielded Tommy Herr's bunt but threw late to second base. Bruce Berenyi walked Jack Clark on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. With the infield in, Landrum hit a hard grounder that skipped under Johnson's glove.
"The biggest surprise is I didn't get it. I misjudged the ball coming to my glove," Johnson said. "I saw myself throwing him out at the plate."
Said Landrum: "The first groan was from me when I hit it, but the second groan was from the crowd when he missed it."
One out later, Ozzie Smith lined a two-run double.
*Pirates 3, Phillies 1: In Philadelphia, R.J. Reynolds doubled in the winning run in the 10th inning and Joe Orsulak singled in another as Pittsburgh won its third straight.
With one out in the 10th, pinch hitter Steve Kemp walked. Rafael Belliard ran for Kemp and scored on Reynolds' double to right-center off Steve Bedrosian (1-1). Reynolds scored on Orsulak's single to center.
*Padres 4, Dodgers 3: Pinch hitter Bruce Bochy led off the bottom of the 11th with a home run, lifting San Diego over visiting Los Angeles.
The one-run decision was the eighth straight for both teams, extending the major-league record each set Sunday.
The Dodgers' Mariano Duncan homered in the top of the 10th; John Kruk then tied the score for San Diego with his first major-league hit, an RBI single.