April 22, 1986: Ojeda and McDowell Four-Hit Bucs

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Date: April 22, 1986
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 7
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Bob Ojeda
Key player(s): Bob Ojeda, Roger McDowell, Keith Hernandez, Ray Knight
Key play: Hernandez’s double, Knight’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the latter half of a two-game series. Bob Ojeda and Roger McDowell combined on a four-hitter in a 7-1 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Ojeda retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. Kevin Mitchell drew a walk against Bucs’ starter Bob Kipper to lead off the bottom half. Tim Teufel went down on strikes and Mitchell stole second base. Keith Hernandez grounded out to second baseman Johnny Ray and a single by Gary Carter drove home Mitchell for a 1-0 Mets lead. Darryl Strawberry hit a double and Kipper retired George Foster on a fly ball to left fielder Mike Diaz for the third out.

Ojeda shut down the Pirates in the top of the second. Ray Knight drew a walk to begin the bottom of the inning. Rafael Santana doubled and strikeouts of Ojeda and Mitchell followed. Teufel walked to load the bases and Hernandez hit a double to score Knight and Santana, increasing the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Carter was walked intentionally to reload the bases and Kipper threw a called third strike past Strawberry to close out the inning. Ojeda then gave up only a single to Jim Morrison in the top of the third.

Knight hit a solo home run against Kipper with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Santana singled and advanced to third base on a single by Ojeda. Mitchell hit a double to plate Santana for a 5-0 Mets lead. Against Pittsburgh reliever Ray Krawczyk, Teufel drew a walk that loaded the bases. Krawczyk got Hernandez and Carter on consecutive outfield fly balls for the inning’s final outs and Ojeda pitched a perfect top of the fourth. Foster hit a one-out double against Krawczyk in the bottom of the inning. George went to third on a wild pitch by the Pirates’ Bob Walk. Knight drew a walk and Santana hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Foster with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Walk then struck out Ojeda to end the inning.

Ojeda set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Mitchell and Teufel got back-to-back singles to open the bottom half. On a third strike to Hernandez, a passed ball by catcher Junior Ortiz moved the runners to second and third base. Carter followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Mitchell and extended the Mets’ lead to 7-0. Strawberry went down on strikes to close out the inning and Ojeda retired all three batters in the top of the sixth. Walk then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Sam Khalifa singled with one out in the top of the seventh. Ray singled and Mike Brown flied out to right fielder Strawberry. Diaz followed with a single (the Pirates’ fourth hit) to bring home Khalifa. Ojeda fanned Tony Pena to end the inning and Carter reached on third baseman Morrison’s error with two outs in the bottom half. Strawberry walked and Walk got Foster on a line drive to second baseman Rafael Belliard to close out the inning.

McDowell pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Pittsburgh reliever Pat Clements hurled a perfect bottom half and Belliard went down on strikes to begin the top of the ninth. Brown was retired on a ground ball back to McDowell. Roger then got Diaz to ground out to shortstop Santana and bring the game to an end. The Mets had an easy victory.