April 25, 1986: Thirteen Hits Pluck Redbirds

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Date: April 25, 1986
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 9
Cardinals: 0
Winning pitcher: Dwight Gooden
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Ray Knight, Kevin Mitchell, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Knight’s two homers, Mitchell’s and Strawberry’s doubles

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night in St. Louis. The teams played the second of four games in a series. The Mets pounded out thirteen hits in a 9-0 win over the Redbirds.

Dwight Gooden and the Cards’ Ricky Horton each pitched three-hit scoreless ball from the first inning to the fourth. Leading off the top of the fifth, Ray Knight homered for a 1-0 Mets lead. Horton retired both Rafael Santana and Gooden on infield ground balls and got Kevin Mitchell on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Andy Van Slyke. Gooden set down the side in order in the bottom half and Gary Carter drew a walk with two outs in the top of the sixth. Darryl Strawberry hit a single and George Foster grounded back to Horton for the inning’s third out. Dwight then yielded only a single to Ozzie Smith in the bottom half.

Santana got a one-out single in the top of the seventh. Rafael advanced to second base on Gooden’s sacrifice bunt and came home with the Mets’ second run on a double by Mitchell. Tim Teufel popped out to shortstop Smith to end the inning and Gooden retired all three St. Louis batters in the bottom half. Keith Hernandez singled against Horton to begin the top of the eighth. Carter drew a walk and moved to third on Strawberry’s double that scored Hernandez. Cardinals’ reliever Pat Perry walked Foster intentionally to load the bases and Knight hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Carter. Santana followed with single and went all the way to third on Perry’s error that allowed both Strawberry and Foster to come home. Gooden hit a single to plate Santana and extend the Mets’ lead to 7-0. Lenny Dykstra hit a single and Teufel was retired on a fly ball to right fielder Clint Hurdle, after which Gooden advanced from second to third. Perry retired Hernandez on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Willie McGee. Gooden then gave up just a single to Smith in the bottom half.

Carter drew a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth. Strawberry flied out to McGee and a strikeout of Foster ensued. Knight slugged his second homer for the Mets’ thirteenth hit, increasing the New York lead to nine runs. Perry retired Santana on a ground ball to second baseman Tommy Herr to close out the inning and Vince Coleman grounded out to third baseman Knight to open the bottom half. McGee was retired on a grounder back to Gooden. Dwight then got Herr to ground out to first baseman Hernandez and end the game. The Mets had a solid shutout victory.