April 16, 1980: Allen Stifles the Expos

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Date: April 16, 1980
Mets starter: Ray Burris
Mets: 3
Expos: 2
Winning pitcher: Ray Burris
Key player(s): John Stearns, Jerry Morales, Neil Allen
Key play: Stearns’ and Morales’s singles in 3rd

The Mets faced the Expos on a Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Neil Allen provided two and two-thirds innings of solid relief to preserve a 3-2 Mets win over Montreal.

Andre Dawson hit a double against Mets’ starter Ray Burris with two outs in the top of the first inning. Ellis Valentine singled to drive home Dawson with the game’s first run and Larry Parrish drew a walk. Burris retired Gary Carter on a fly ball to left fielder Steve Henderson for the third out and Montreal’s Bill Lee pitched a scoreless bottom half. Burris set down the side in order in the top of the second. Lee then shut down the Mets again in the bottom of the inning.

Burris yielded only a double to Dawson in the top of the third. Henderson hit a single to lead off the bottom half. Frank Taveras and Lee Mazzilli were retired on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Dawson and an infield single by Joel Youngblood ensued. John Stearns singled to score Henderson with the tying run. On the play, Youngblood moved to third base and Stearns to second via a throw by right fielder Valentine. Jerry Morales followed with a single that plated Youngblood and Stearns for a 3-1 Mets lead. Lee then got Elliott Maddox on a grounder to third baseman Parrish for the inning’s final out.

Burris and Lee each pitched scoreless ball in the fourth and fifth innings. With one out in the top of the sixth, Carter hit a double to left field. Carter advanced to third base on a single by Warren Cromartie and scored the Expos’ second run on Bill Almon’s sacrifice fly. Pinch-hitter Rowland Office drew a walk and Burris got Ron LeFlore on an inning-ending force play ground ball to third baseman Maddox. Montreal reliever Dale Murray then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Rodney Scott doubled against Mets’ reliever Jeff Reardon to begin the top of the seventh inning. Scott stole third base and Dawson fouled out to first baseman Mazzilli. Valentine drew a walk and Allen came in to pitch for the Mets. Neil got Parrish to hit a grounder to shortstop Taveras for a double play that ended the inning. Mazzilli got an infield single to open the bottom half. Youngblood lined out to Parrish for a double play and Stearns singled to left field. Murray then retired Morales on a ground ball to shortstop Almon to close out the inning.

Allen held the Expos to a single by Cromartie in the top of the eighth. Murray pitched a perfect bottom half and pinch-hitter Tommy Hutton was called out on strikes to begin the top of the ninth. LeFlore drew a walk and stole second base. Scott was retired on a fly ball to Henderson. Allen then struck out Dawson to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on Neil’s outstanding scoreless relief.