April 14, 1987: Mets Rebound for Win Over Phils

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Date: April 14, 1987
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 7
Phillies: 5
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Johnson’s home run, Wilson’s single, Phillies’ errors in 9th

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. After squandering a lead of three runs, the Mets came back for a 7-5 win.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Keith Hernandez reached on catcher Lance Parrish’s third strike passed ball. Gary Carter followed with a single to advance Hernandez to third base. Darryl Strawberry doubled to drive home Hernandez and Carter for a two-run Mets lead. Phils’ starter Bruce Ruffin struck out Kevin McReynolds to end the inning and Juan Samuel drew a one-out walk in the bottom half. Mets’ starter Ron Darling then got Von Hayes to line out to third baseman Howard Johnson and fanned Mike Schmidt for the inning’s third out.

After scoreless second and third innings, McReynolds singled with one out in the top of the fourth. Johnson drew a walk and Rafael Santana got an infield single that loaded the bases. Darling hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Schmidt to drive home McReynolds for a 3-0 Mets lead. Ruffin retired Mookie Wilson on an inning-ending pop-up to first baseman Hayes and a walk to Schmidt opened the bottom half. Schmidt moved to third base on Mike Easler’s single and came home on Parrish’s double play grounder to Johnson. Darling then got Ron Roenicke to fly out to center fielder Wilson and finish off the inning.

Ruffin shut down the Mets in the top of the fifth. With two outs in the bottom half, Milt Thompson doubled and Samuel drew a walk. Hayes hit a double to bring home Thompson and Samuel with the tying runs. Schmidt followed with a two-run homer to put the Phils ahead, 5-3. Easler hit a single and Parrish grounded out to second baseman Tim Teufel to close out the inning. To begin the top of the sixth, Strawberry walked and stole second base. McReynolds flied out to center fielder Thompson and a homer by Johnson tied the game at 5-5. Ruffin issued a walk to Santana and was replaced on the mound by Philadelphia reliever Michael Jackson. Darling went down on strikes and Wilson was retired on a fly ball to Thompson for the third out of the inning. Ron then set down the Phils in order in the bottom half.

Darling and Jackson each pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Pinch-hitter Lenny Dykstra drew a walk against Phillies’ reliever Steve Bedrosian to lead off the top of the ninth. Dykstra stole second base on a third strike to pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli. Wilson followed with a single to drive home Dykstra and give the Mets a 6-5 lead. On his own hit, Mookie went to third via an error by right fielder Roenicke. Wally Backman reached on second baseman Samuel’s error that allowed Wilson to score the seventh New York run. Bedrosian then retired Hernandez and Carter on consecutive fly balls to left fielder Chris James for the inning’s final outs.

Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco got Thompson on a grounder to Johnson to start the bottom of the ninth. Samuel popped out to first baseman Hernandez and a walk to Hayes ensued. Orosco then retired Schmidt on a fly ball to center fielder Dykstra to end the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.