April 20, 1974: Three Runs in 8th Beat Bucs

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Date: April 20, 1974
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 5
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Wayne Garrett, Cleon Jones
Key play: Garrett’s home run, Jones’ RBI single

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a one-hour and fifty-six-minute game. The Mets broke a tie with three runs in the eighth inning for a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh.

Following a scoreless first, Willie Stargell singled against Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman to lead off the top of the second. Stargell moved to second base on Richie Zisk’s ground out to catcher Jerry Grote and to third on a single by Manny Sanguillen. Richie Hebner hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Stargell for a 1-0 Bucs lead. Koosman retired Frank Taveras on a foul pop-up to Grote for the third out of the inning. Pittsburgh’s Bob Moose then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Koosman yielded only a single to Rennie Stennett in the top of the third. Moose gave up just a double to Grote in the bottom of the inning and Al Oliver tripled to open the top of the fourth. Stargell grounded out to second baseman Felix Millan to score Oliver and a strikeout of Zisk ensued. Sanguillen grounded out to third baseman Wayne Garrett to end the inning and consecutive singles by Millan and Cleon Jones began the bottom half. Rusty Staub followed with a double to bring home Millan and cut the Pirates’ lead to 2-1. John Milner was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Stargell. Dave Schneck went down on strikes and Garrett was given an intentional walk. Moose then got Grote to fly out to center fielder Gene Clines and finish off the inning.

After scoreless fifth and sixth innings, Koosman hurled a perfect top of the seventh. Garrett homered with one out in the bottom half to tie the game at 2-2. Grote grounded out to third baseman Hebner and a strikeout of Koosman ended the inning. Jerry set down the Pirates in order in the top of the eighth and Bud Harrelson singled against Moose to open the bottom half. A sacrifice by Millan advanced Harrelson to second base. Jones singled to drive home Harrelson and advanced to second on a throw to the plate. Cleon stole third and Staub was walked intentionally. Milner singled off Bucs’ reliever Ramon Hernandez to score Jones and increase the Mets’ lead to 4-2. Pinch-hitter Don Hahn hit a single to bring home Staub with the fifth New York run. On the hit, Hahn went to second as Milner got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by shortstop Taveras. Hernandez then fanned Garrett to close out the inning.

Stennett went down on strikes to begin the top of the ninth. Clines was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Staub. Koosman then got Oliver to fly out to left fielder Jones and end the game. The Mets had comeback victory in less than two hours.