April 11, 1970: Gentry Leads Four-Hit Victory

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Date: April 11, 1970
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 4
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Gary Gentry
Key player(s): Gary Gentry, Jerry Grote, Cleon Jones
Key play: Grote’s sacrifice fly, Mets’ RBI singles

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Saturday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Gary Gentry pitched four-hit ball over eight and two-third innings in a 4-1 Mets win over the Redbirds.

Following a scoreless first inning, Art Shamsky singled against Cards’ starter Nelson Briles to lead off the top of the second. Ron Swoboda singled and Ken Boswell drew a walk that loaded the bases. Jerry Grote hit a sacrifice fly to score Shamsky with the game’s first run. Gentry went down on strikes and Tommie Agee hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Dal Maxvill to end the inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Joe Hague was hit by a pitch. Julian Javier singled and Maxvill walked to load the bases. Gentry then retired Briles on a fly ball to right fielder Swoboda for the inning’s final out.

A single by Bud Harrelson opened the top of the third. Harrelson stole second base and Joe Foy flied out to left fielder Lou Brock. Cleon Jones singled to drive home Harrelson and stole second. Briles hit Shamsky with a pitch and Swoboda singled to plate Jones for a 3-0 Mets lead. St. Louis reliever Santiago Guzman threw a called third strike past Boswell. Guzman then got Grote to fly out to right fielder Leron Lee and finish off the inning.

Brock drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third. Jose Cardenal followed with a triple to bring home Brock. Dick Allen grounded out to first baseman Shamsky. Joe Torre hit a grounder on which Gentry threw to third baseman Foy for an out on Cardenal. Gary fanned Lee to close out the inning and walked to begin the top of the fourth. Agee drew a walk and Harrelson hit a double play ground ball to Maxvill. Foy singled to score Gentry with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Joe was then caught stealing on catcher Torre’s throw to Maxvill to close out the inning.

Hague tripled to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Javier popped out to Foy and a walk to Maxvill ensued. Pinch-hitter Jim Campbell (in his major league debut) went down on strikes and Brock followed with an inning-ending force play grounder to shortstop Harrelson. Cardinals’ reliever Sal Campisi hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Gentry then set down all three St. Louis batters in the bottom half.

The Mets failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the sixth. Gentry hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Jones walked to begin the top of the seventh. Shamsky hit a double play ground ball to second baseman Javier and a walk to Swoboda followed. Boswell singled to advance Swoboda to third base and Campisi got Grote on a force play grounder to Maxvill for the third out of the inning. Gentry then retired the Redbirds in order in the bottom half.

St. Louis reliever Tom Hilgendorf pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Gentry set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Jones hit a single to open the top of the ninth. Mike Jorgensen followed with a force play ground ball to first baseman Hague. Swoboda flied out to Lee and a single by Boswell sent Jorgensen to third base. Hilgendorf then retired Grote on a grounder to Hague to end the inning.

Lee singled for the Cards’ fourth hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Gentry got Hague to fly out to Swoboda and retired Javier on a ground ball to Foy. Pinch-hitter Carl Taylor drew a walk and Ron Taylor came in to pitch for the Mets. Ron Taylor got pinch-hitter Phil Gagliano to fly out to center fielder Agee and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory led by Gentry’s solid pitching.