April 21, 1987: Mets Defeat Pirates to End Skid

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Date: April 21, 1987
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 9
Pirates: 6
Winning pitcher: Bob Ojeda
Key player(s): Rafael Santana, Darryl Strawberry, Tim Teufel
Key play: Santana’s three-run homer, Strawberry’s two doubles, Pirates’ triple play

The Mets and Pirates faced each other on a Tuesday night. The game at Three Rivers Stadium featured eight doubles, four home runs and a triple play. The Mets stopped a four-game losing streak with a 9-6 win over Pittsburgh.

After a pair of scoreless innings, Mookie Wilson doubled with one out in the top of the third. Pirates’ starter Bob Kipper retired the next two batters on ground balls to second baseman Johnny Ray. Kipper hit a one-out double and moved to third base on Barry Bonds’ ensuing single in the bottom of the inning. Andy Van Slyke popped out to shortstop Rafael Santana. Mets’ starter Bob Ojeda threw a wild pitch to bring home Kipper and send Bonds to second. Ray followed with a single that scored Bonds for the Bucs’ second run. Ojeda then retired Jim Morrison on a fly ball to right fielder Darryl Strawberry to end the inning.

Gary Carter doubled to lead off the top of the fourth. Strawberry hit a double to score Carter and came home on a double by Tim Teufel that tied the game. A single by Howard Johnson advanced Teufel to third base. Santana followed with a three-run homer to give the Mets a 5-2 lead. Ojeda drew a walk and came around to score the Mets’ sixth run on Wilson’s double off Pirates’ reliever Brian Fisher. Lenny Dykstra flied out to left fielder Mike Diaz and an intentional walk to Keith Hernandez ensued. Hernandez was caught stealing for the second out of the inning. Fisher followed up by throwing a called third strike past Carter. Ojeda then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Fisher and Ojeda each hurled a scoreless fifth inning. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Hernandez homered off Pirates’ reliever Bob Walk to extend the Mets’ lead to 7-2. Carter was thrown out by catcher Junior Ortiz on a ground ball in front of the plate to end the inning and Ojeda set down the Pirates 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Walk and Ojeda each pitched a perfect seventh inning. The Mets were again retired in order by Walk in the top of the eighth.

Ojeda walked Denny Gonzalez to open the bottom of the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Bobby Bonilla singled and Bonds followed with a three-run homer. Van Slyke flied out to left fielder Wilson and a home run by Ray reduced the Mets’ lead to 7-6. Mets’ reliever Doug Sisk came in to pitch and got Morrison on a grounder to second baseman Teufel. Diaz then grounded out to first baseman Hernandez to close out the inning.

Pittsburgh reliever Don Robinson walked Dykstra to begin the top of the ninth. Lenny moved to third on Hernandez’s single and came home on a single by Carter. Strawberry hit a double to drive home Hernandez and send Carter to third. Pinch-hitter Wally Backman grounded out to Ray, after which Carter and Strawberry were caught in rundowns. Both were and tagged out to complete an inning-ending triple play.

Leading off the bottom of the ninth inning, Sid Bream doubled off Sisk for the twelfth extra-base hit of the game. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco struck out Mike Lavalliere and retired Gonzalez on a ground ball to Santana. Bonilla then grounded out to third baseman Johnson to end the game. The Mets had a victory that ended a four-game skid.