April 25, 1975: Three Hits Are Enough to Beat Expos

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Date: April 25, 1975
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 5
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Ed Kranepool
Key play: Staub’s and Kranepool’s singles, Rivera’s error

The Mets faced the Expos on a Friday afternoon in Montreal. The teams played the opener of a weekend series at Jarry Park. The Mets were limited to three hits, but still came away with a 5-3 win.

Felix Millan and Del Unser drew back-to-back walks against Expos’ starter Steve Rogers with one out in the top of the first inning. Rusty Staub hit a single to drive home Millan. On the play, right fielder Bombo Rivera made an error that allowed Unser to score and Staub to move to third base. John Milner grounded out to second baseman Pete Mackanin to bring home Staub for a 3-0 Mets lead. Rogers retired Ed Kranepool on a ground ball to shortstop Tim Foli for the third out. Mets’ starter Jon Matlack then yielded only a single to Foli in the bottom half.

Matlack and Rogers each pitched one-hit scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Jon gave up just a single to Pepe Mangual while Rogers held the Mets to a single by Milner. Wayne Garrett drew a walk to lead off the top of the sixth. Garrett advanced to second base on Millan’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Unser’s ground out to Rogers. Wayne came home on a wild pitch and Staub drew a walk. Milner walked and Kranepool singled for the Mets’ third hit, scoring Staub for a 5-0 New York lead. Rogers retired Jack Heidemann on a foul fly ball to left fielder Jose Morales to end the inning and pinch-hitter Hal Breeden singled to open the bottom half. Mangual was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Unser. Breeden advanced to second on Foli’s ground out to third baseman Garrett and scored the Expos’ first run on a single by Mike Jorgensen. Matlack then got Barry Foote to fly out to left fielder Milner and finish off the inning.

Montreal reliever Steve Renko set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Matlack hurled a scoreless bottom half and the Expos’ Chuck Taylor retired all three batters on infield ground balls in the top of the eighth. Mangual singled against Matlack to begin the bottom of the inning. Foli flied out to Milner and a single by Jorgensen followed. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third base. Foote grounded out to shortstop Heidemann to drive home Mangual and cut the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Larry Parrish hit a single to plate Jorgensen with the third Montreal run of the game. Mets’ reliever Rick Baldwin then retired pinch-hitter Pat Scanlon on a pop-up to Heidemann to end the inning.

Taylor pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Morales flied out to Unser to lead off the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Tony Scott was called out on strikes and pinch-hitter Larry Biittner singled. Baldwin then retired Mangual on a fly ball to Unser for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory despite having only three hits.