April 28, 1974: Hodges' Homer Lifts Mets Over Giants

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Date: April 28, 1974
Mets starter: Harry Parker
Mets: 6
Giants: 4
Winning pitcher: Harry Parker
Key player(s): Ron Hodges, John Milner, Rusty Staub
Key play: Hodges’ homer, Milner’s homer and sacrifice fly, Staub’s single

The Mets faced the Giants in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. After winning the opener at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the second game of the twinbill. Ron Hodges broke a tie with a two-run homer and the Mets went on to 6-4 Mets win.

Following a scoreless first inning, Giants’ starter Charlie Williams shut down the Mets again in the top of the second. Bobby Bonds hit a triple to lead off the bottom half. Steve Ontiveros singled to score Bonds and advanced to third base on a single by Chris Speier. An ensuing single by Dave Kingman plated Ontiveros for a 2-0 San Francisco lead. John Boccabella hit a single to load the bases and Williams fouled out to second baseman Felix Millan. Mets’ starter Harry Parker then retired Gary Thomasson on a pop-up to shortstop Bud Harrelson and got Bruce Miller to hit a force play ground ball to Millan that ended the inning.

Hodges singled with one out in the top of the third. Ron moved to second base on Parker’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a double by Harrelson. Williams retired Millan on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Ontiveros. With two outs in the bottom half, Ontiveros homered to extend the Giants lead to 3-1. Speier drew a walk and Kingman flied out to center fielder Dave Schneck to end the inning. John Milner hit a two-out homer for the Mets’ second run in the top of the fourth. Williams followed up by retiring Schneck on a ground ball to second baseman Miller for the third out. Parker then set down the Giants in order in the bottom half.

Williams and Parker each pitched a scoreless fifth inning. Harrelson singled to lead off the top of the sixth. Millan followed with a double on which Harrelson was out at home via a relay throw by shortstop Speier to catcher Boccabella. San Francisco reliever Randy Moffitt retired Cleon Jones on a pop-up to Speier. Rusty Staub hit a single to drive home Millan with the tying run and Moffitt struck out Milner to finish off the inning. Parker then held the Giants to a single by Speier in the bottom half.

Wayne Garrett singled with one out in the top of the seventh. Hodges followed with a home run that put the Mets ahead, 5-3. Moffitt threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Ken Boswell and retired Harrelson on an inning-ending grounder to Miller. With one out in the bottom half, Miller and Garry Maddox got back-to-back singles against Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw. Bonds lined out to left fielder Jones and a single by Ontiveros drove home Miller. McGraw then got Speier on a line drive to Jones for the inning’s third out.

Millan drew a walk to begin the top of the eighth. Jones got a bunt single and Staub’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Moffitt was replaced on the mound by San Francisco’s Ron Bryant, against whom Milner hit a sacrifice fly to score Millan with the Mets’ sixth run. Bryant retired Schneck on a fly ball to center fielder Maddox that ended the inning. McGraw and Mets’ reliever Bob Miller then combined for a scoreless bottom half.

For the Giants, reliever Jim Willoughby hurled a perfect top of the ninth. Consecutive singles by Maddox and Bonds opened the bottom of the inning. Ontiveros followed with a ground ball on which catcher Hodges threw to third baseman Garrett for a force out on Maddox. Speier was retired on a fly ball to Jones. Bob Miller then got Kingman to foul out to Hodges and end the game. The Mets had a sweep of the doubleheader.