April 16, 1966: Hamilton Five-Hits Braves

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Date: April 16, 1966
Mets starter: Jack Hamilton
Mets: 3
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Jack Hamilton
Key player(s): Jack Hamilton, Ed Kranepool, Ken Boyer
Key play: Kranepool’s home run, Boyer’s RBI single

The Mets faced the Braves on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Jack Hamilton pitched a five-hitter in a 3-1 Mets win over Atlanta.

Hamilton set down the side in order in the top of the first inning. Ken Boyer singled against Braves’ starter Hank Fischer with two outs in the bottom half. Ed Kranepool hit a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Dick Stuart followed with a single to center field. With Choo Choo Coleman at bat, Stuart was caught stealing second base on catcher Joe Torre’s throw to shortstop Woody Woodward for the third out.

After a scoreless second inning, Hamilton gave up only a single to Denis Menke in the top of the third. Fischer hurled a perfect bottom half and Felipe Alou doubled to lead off the top of the fourth. Alou moved to third base on Frank Bolling’s ground out to first baseman Stuart and scored on Hank Aaron’s ground out to shortstop Roy McMillan. Torre drew a walk and advanced to third on a double by Rico Carty. Hamilton retired Lee Thomas on a fly ball to left fielder Kranepool to end the inning. Fischer then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Menke hit a leadoff double in the top of the fifth. Gary Geiger reached on an error by second baseman Ron Hunt (sending Menke to third base) and went to second on Fischer’s sacrifice bunt. Alou hit a ground ball on which McMillan threw to catcher Coleman for an out at home on Menke. Hamilton retired Bolling on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Jim Hickman. Fischer then set down all three Mets hitters in the bottom half.

Hamilton and Fischer each faced the minimum six batters in pitching scoreless sixth and seventh innings. Jack retired the side in order in the top of the eighth and singled against Atlanta reliever Ken Johnson with one out in the bottom half. Hunt hit a single and the Braves’ Billy O’Dell got pinch-hitter Cleon Jones to pop out to first baseman Thomas. Boyer singled to drive home Hamilton with the Mets’ third run. On the play, Hunt was out on Torre’s throw to third baseman Alou to finish off the inning.

Aaron singled for the Braves’ fifth hit to begin the top of the ninth. Hamilton got Torre to pop out to McMillan and retired Carty on a fly ball to Hickman. Jack then got Thomas to ground out to Hunt and end the game. The Mets had their first win of the season on Hamilton’s five-hitter.