April 12, 1973: Mets Beat Cardinals for Fourth Straight Win

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Date: April 12, 1973
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 2
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Phil Hennigan, John Milner, Cleon Jones
Key play: Milner’s single, Jones’ sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Thursday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. The Mets improved their season-starting record to four wins and no losses with a 2-1 victory over the Redbirds.

Bud Harrelson doubled against Cards’ starter Bob Gibson to lead off the top of the first inning. Felix Millan reached on Gibson’s error and advanced to third base on single by John Milner that drove home Harrelson. Rusty Staub grounded out to first baseman Joe Torre and a sacrifice fly by Cleon Jones scored Millan for a 2-0 Mets lead. Gibson retired Wayne Garrett on a fly ball to left fielder Lou Brock for the third out. Mets’ starter Tom Seaver then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Seaver and Gibson each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the sixth. Tom issued a walk to Ted Simmons and a double to Ted Sizemore while his teammates came up empty despite four hits and walk. Gibson hurled a perfect top of the seventh. Leading off the bottom half, Jose Cruz homered for the Cardinals’ first run of the game. Torre went down on strikes and Simmons hit a double. Ken Reitz grounded out to third baseman Garrett. Seaver then retired Bernie Carbo on a fly ball to left fielder Jones for the inning’s final out.

Gibson shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth. Tim McCarver singled against Seaver to open the bottom half. Gibson was struck out and Brock flied out to center fielder Rich Chiles. Sizemore drew a walk and Mets’ reliever Phil Hennigan retired Cruz on an inning-ending pop-up to shortstop Harrelson. Gibson pitched a perfect top of the ninth and Torre got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Simmons followed with a ground ball to Harrelson for a double play. Hennigan then got Reitz to fly out to Chiles and bring the game to an end. The Mets had their fourth consecutive win to begin the new season.