April 13, 1985: Strawberry Homers in 9th

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Date: April 13, 1985
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 2
Reds: 1
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Hernandez’s sacrifice fly, Strawberry’s home run

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Darryl Strawberry hit a home run in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 2-1 win over Cincinnati.

Mets’ starter Ed Lynch retired the side in order in the top of the first. The Reds’ Tom Browning pitched a scoreless bottom half and Nick Esasky doubled with one out in the top of the second. An ensuing double by Dave Concepcion brought home Esasky for a 1-0 Cincinnati lead. Lynch got Ron Oester to ground out to second baseman Kelvin Chapman and retired Dann Bilardello on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning. Browning then set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Lynch and Browning each pitched scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. Ed retired all three Reds batters in the top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Chapman reached third base on an error by center fielder Eric Davis. Keith Hernandez followed with a sacrifice fly to score Chapman and tie the game at 1-1. Gary Carter reached on shortstop Concepcion’s error and Strawberry hit an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Pete Rose. Lynch gave up just a single to Cesar Cedeno in the top of the seventh. Browning then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Mookie Wilson singled against Cincinnati’s John Franco to begin the bottom of the inning. Chapman’s sacrifice bunt moved Wilson to second base and Hernandez drew a walk. Franco got Carter to hit a ground ball to Concepcion for an inning-ending double play. Rose and Dave Parker got back-to-back singles to begin the top of the ninth. Cedeno followed with a double play grounder to third baseman Howard Johnson. McDowell then retired Esasky on a ground ball to Johnson for the inning’s final out.

To open the bottom of the ninth inning, Strawberry came to bat against Franco. Darryl clubbed a home run over the right field wall to bring the game to an end. The Mets had their fourth consecutive victory to start the season.