April 25, 1974: Three-Run 9th Beats Padres

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Date: April 25, 1974
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 5
Padres: 2
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Bud Harrelson, Felix Millan, John Milner
Key play: Millan’s and Milner’s singles in 9th

The Mets faced the Padres on a Thursday night in San Diego. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored three runs in the ninth inning for a 5-2 win.

Bud Harrelson drew a walk against Padres’ starter Bill Greif to lead off the top of the first. Felix Millan hit a single and Cleon Jones singled to bring home Harrelson. Greif recorded outs on the next three batters to end the inning and Johnny Grubb singled with one out in the bottom half. Dave Winfield was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Rusty Staub. Nate Colbert hit a single and advanced to second base (with Grubb moving to third) via an error by center fielder Dave Schneck. Cito Gaston singled to drive home Grubb and Colbert for a 2-1 San Diego lead. Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman then got Dave Roberts on a line drive to third baseman Wayne Garrett for the inning’s third out.

Greif retired the Mets in order in the top of the second. Koosman pitched a perfect bottom half and Harrelson singled to begin the top of the third. Millan hit a single to send Harrelson to third base and Jones grounded out to catcher Fred Kendall. Staub drew a walk to load the bases and John Milner followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Harrelson with the tying run. Greif retired Schneck on a fly ball to right fielder Gaston to close out the inning. Koosman then set down all three Padres hitters in the bottom half.

Koosman and Greif each pitched three-hit scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the eighth. Jerry hit a single to open the top of the ninth. Harrelson reached on Greif’s error of a sacrifice bunt that allowed Koosman to advance to third base. Millan hit a single to score Koosman and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Against Padres’ reliever Vicente Romo, Jones laid down a sacrifice bunt that sent the runners to second and third. San Diego’s Rich Troedson walked Staub intentionally to load the bases. Milner hit a single to drive home Harrelson and Millan with the Mets’ fourth and fifth runs of the game. Pinch-hitter Don Hahn flied out to center fielder Grubb. Troedson then struck out Garrett to finish off the inning.

Koosman fanned Roberts to start the bottom of the ninth. Kendall drew a walk and pinch-hitter Matty Alou flied out to Staub. Pinch-hitter Willie McCovey then popped out to Koosman to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory to finish off the series.