April 11, 1985: Allen Walks Heep in 11th

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Date: April 11, 1985
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 2
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Danny Heep, Keith Hernandez
Key play: Pendleton’s two errors in 4th, Heep’s walk in 11th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a season-opening two-game series. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Neil Allen issued a bases-loaded walk to Danny Heep to force home the winning run for a 2-1 Mets victory over St. Louis.

Ron Darling and the Cards’ John Tudor each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Jack Clark hit a double with one out in the top of the fourth. Darrell Porter fouled out to catcher Gary Carter and a single by Terry Pendleton brought home Clark for a 1-0 St. Louis lead. Darling then caught Pendleton with a pickoff throw to first baseman Keith Hernandez to end the inning.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Kelvin Chapman reached on an error by third baseman Pendleton. Hernandez singled and Carter was retired on a foul pop-up to catcher Porter. Chapman and Hernandez pulled off a double steal and George Foster drew a walk to load the bases. John Christensen fouled out to Porter and an error by Pendleton of Howard Johnson’s ground ball scored Chapman with the tying run. Tudor then retired Rafael Santana on a fly ball to right fielder Steve Braun to close out the inning.

Darling and Tudor each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the seventh. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco hurled a perfect top of the eighth and Tudor held the Mets to a single by Hernandez in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Tito Landrum drew a walk to open the top of the ninth. Clark singled and Porter hit a grounder back to Orosco for a double play. Pendleton was given an intentional walk and stole second base. Orosco fanned Andy Van Slyke for the inning’s final out. Tudor then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Orosco issued a walk to Ozzie Smith to begin the top of the 10th inning. Jesse retired pinch-hitter Ivan DeJesus and Lonnie Smith on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Mookie Wilson and gave up a single to Tommy Herr. Mets’ reliever Doug Sisk got Willie McGee to hit a grounder on which Carter threw to Hernandez for the third out of the inning. To open the bottom half, St. Louis’s Andy Hassler walked Santana and got pinch-hitter Ron Gardenhire on a pop-up to Pendleton. Wilson grounded out to Pendleton to advance pinch-runner Terry Blocker to second base. Hassler then retired Chapman on a fly ball to right fielder Brian Harper to finish off the inning.

In his major league debut, Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell set down the Redbirds in order in the top of the 11th. Hernandez singled against Hassler to lead off the bottom half. Allen came in to pitch for the Cardinals and yielded a single to Carter that sent Hernandez to third base. Foster was walked intentionally to load the bases and Heep came up to pinch-hit for Christensen. Allen walked Danny to bring home Hernandez and end the game. The Mets had their second straight win to start the season.