April 18, 1986: Knight and Foster Lift Mets Over Phils

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Date: April 18, 1986
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 5
Phillies: 2
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Ron Darling, Jesse Orosco, Ray Knight, George Foster
Key play: Knight’s and Foster’s two-run singles

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Ray Knight and George Foster hit two-run singles in a 5-2 Mets win over Philadelphia.

With one out in the top of the first inning, Milt Thompson hit a solo home run against Mets’ starter Ron Darling. Von Hayes grounded out to first baseman Keith Hernandez and a homer by Mike Schmidt followed. Glenn Wilson flied out to right fielder Darryl Strawberry to end the inning and Lenny Dykstra singled against the Phils’ Steve Carlton to lead off the bottom half. Dykstra advanced to second base on a wild pitch and Tim Teufel was struck out. A passed ball by catcher John Russell moved Dykstra to third and Hernandez drew a walk. Gary Carter walked to load the bases and a walk to Strawberry forced home Dykstra. Foster went down on strikes and Knight hit a single that plated Hernandez and Carter for a 3-2 Mets lead. Rafael Santana drew a walk to reload the bases and Carlton threw a called third strike past Darling to finish off the inning.

Darling and Carlton each pitched one-hit scoreless ball from the second inning to the sixth. Ron shut down the Phillies again in the top of the seventh and Hernandez singled against Carlton with two outs in the bottom half. Carter hit a single and Strawberry walked to load the bases. Foster singled against Philadelphia reliever Kent Tekulve to bring home Hernandez and Carter with the Mets’ fourth and fifth runs of the game. Tekulve then retired Knight on a fly ball to right fielder Wilson for the inning’s third out.

Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco fanned pinch-hitter Garry Maddox to open the top of the eighth. With Thompson at bat, Gary Redus singled and stole second base. Thompson went down on strikes and a wild pitch sent Redus to third. Hayes fouled out to catcher Carter to end the inning and the Phils’ Don Carman hurled a perfect bottom half. Schmidt grounded out to third baseman Howard Johnson to begin the top of the ninth. Orosco then struck out both Wilson and Russell to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.