April 29, 1969: Kranepool Slugs Expos Twice

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Date: April 29, 1969
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 2
Expos: 0
Winning pitcher: Nolan Ryan
Key player(s): Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Ed Kranepool
Key play: Kranepool’s two home runs

The Mets faced the Expos on a Tuesday afternoon in Montreal. For the first time in team history, the Mets played a game held outside the United States. Ed Kranepool provided all the scoring with a pair of home runs in a 2-0 Mets win.

Expos’ starter Mudcat Grant pitched a perfect top of the first inning. The Mets’ Jerry Koosman gave up only a single to Rusty Staub in the bottom half. With one out in the top of the second, Kranepool homered for a 1-0 Mets lead. Ron Swoboda flied out to right fielder Staub and a walk to J. C. Martin followed. Kevin Collins fouled out to catcher John Bateman to end the inning. Koosman then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Bud Harrelson got a one-out single in the top of the third. Rod Gaspar was hit by a pitch and Ken Boswell grounded to second baseman Gary Sutherland for an inning-ending double play. Koosman hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Grant yielded only a single to Swoboda in the top of the fourth. Manny Mota singled to open the bottom half. Staub reached on an error by right fielder Swoboda. Donn Clendenon followed with a double play ground ball to third baseman Collins. Koosman then got Coco Laboy to fly out to center fielder Gaspar and finish off the inning.

Grant held the Mets to a double by Harrelson in the top of the fifth. Koosman retired Sutherland on a fly ball to Gaspar to begin the bottom half. Jerry suffered an injured shoulder and was relieved by Nolan Ryan, who struck out both Bateman and Don Bosch to end the inning. Boswell reached on Grant’s error to lead off the top of the sixth. Cleon Jones hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Laboy. With Kranepool at bat, Jones got caught in a rundown after Grant’s pickoff throw and was tagged out by second baseman Sutherland. Ed followed with his second homer of the game, extending the Mets’ lead to two runs. Swoboda grounded back to Grant for the inning’s third out. Ryan then gave up only a bunt single to Maury Wills in the bottom half.

Montreal reliever Dan McGinn gave up only a double to Collins in the top of the seventh. Ryan yielded just a single to Sutherland in the bottom of the inning and McGinn threw a called third strike past Gaspar to open the top of the eighth. Boswell singled and Jones grounded to Sutherland for an inning-ending double play. Ryan pitched a perfect bottom half and Kranepool grounded back to Expos’ reliever Roy Face to begin the top of the ninth. Swoboda hit a single and Face got Martin on a grounder to first baseman Clendenon for a double play to close out the inning.

Mota singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Staub popped out to second baseman Wayne Garrett and a single by Clendenon ensued. Ryan then fanned both Laboy and Sutherland for the game’s final outs. The Mets had a victory in their first visit to Canada.