April 19, 1981: Kingman's Homer Propels Mets Over Expos

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Date: April 19, 1981
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 7
Expos: 2
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Rusty Staub, Pat Zachry
Key play: Kingman’s three-run homer

The Mets and Expos played a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. After losing the opener, the Mets aimed for a split of the twinbill. Dave Kingman hit a three-run homer to put the Mets ahead to stay in a 7-2 win over Montreal.

Mets’ starter Pat Zachry pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Frank Taveras got a leadoff single against the Expos’ Charlie Lea. Taveras stole second and third base and came home on Alex Trevino’s ground out to second baseman Rodney Scott. Rusty Staub grounded out to first baseman Warren Cromartie. Lea then struck out Kingman to end the inning.

Tim Wallach and Bobby Ramos hit solo home runs to give Montreal a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. The Mets had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Lea retired Zachry on a fly ball to center fielder Andre Dawson for the third out. Tim Raines was hit by a pitch and stole second to begin the top of the third. Scott bunted back to Zachry for a double play. Pat then got Dawson on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Kingman.

Taveras and Trevino opened the bottom of the third inning with back-to-back singles. Staub hit a double to score Taveras and tie the game. Kingman followed with a home run that gave the Mets a 5-2 lead. With two outs, Hubie Brooks singled and came around to score on a double by Doug Flynn. Zachry hit a single and Lea was removed from the game. Expos reliever Steve Ratzer then retired Taveras on a ground ball to Cromartie to close out the inning.

Zachry retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the inning, Trevino led off with a single and went to third on an ensuing single by Staub. Kingman flied out to Dawson and a single by Mike Jorgensen brought home Trevino with the Mets’ seventh run. Joel Youngblood singled to load the bases and Brooks hit a grounder back to Ratzer on which Staub was out at home. Flynn then grounded out to Scott to end the inning.

In the fifth and sixth innings, Zachry and Ratzer each allowed one hit in pitching scoreless ball. Chris Speier walked and Ramos reached on an error by third baseman Brooks with two outs in the top of the seventh. Zachry retired pinch-hitter Tommy Hutton on a ground ball to first baseman Jorgensen for the third out. Montreal reliever Bill Lee then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Zachry and Lee each pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Wallach grounded out to second baseman Flynn to start the top of the ninth. Speier was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Mookie Wilson. Zachry then got Ramos on a grounder to shortstop Taveras for the final out of the game. The Mets had gained a split of the doubleheader.