April 30, 1979: Singles Lift Mets Over Padres

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Date: April 30, 1979
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 4
Padres: 3
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Richie Hebner, Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn
Key play: Mets’ RBI singles

The Mets faced the Padres on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played a two-hour and forty-seven-minute game. Three run-scoring singles produced a 4-3 Mets win over San Diego.

After a scoreless first inning, Mike Hargrove and Bill Fahey drew back-to-back walks against Mets’ starter Craig Swan to begin the top of the second. Barry Evans singled to drive home Hargrove and advance Fahey to third base. Fernando Gonzalez grounded to shortstop Frank Taveras for a double play and Swan struck out Bob Owchinko to end the inning. Owchinko pitched a scoreless bottom half and Swan shut down the Padres in the top of the third. Richie Hebner drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Lee Mazzilli flied out to right fielder Dave Winfield and a double by John Stearns ensued. Owchinko then fanned Willie Montanez for the inning’s final out.

Winfield tripled to lead off the top of the fourth. Hargrove grounded out to second baseman Doug Flynn and a walk to Fahey followed. Evans hit a sacrifice fly to score Winfield and increase the Padres’ lead to 2-0. Gonzalez was walked intentionally and Owchinko grounded back to Swan for the third out of the inning. Joel Youngblood hit a leadoff single in the bottom half. Owchinko then retired the next three Mets batters to end the inning.

Swan hurled a perfect top of the fifth. Taveras singled against Owchinko to open the bottom half. Frank advanced to second base on a wild pitch and came around to score on a single by Hebner. Mazzilli hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Ozzie Smith and stole second. Stearns drew a walk and Montanez was struck out. Youngblood walked to load the bases and Owchinko was replaced on the mound by San Diego reliever Eric Rasmussen. Steve Henderson greeted Rasmussen with a single that plated both Mazzilli and Stearns for a 3-2 Mets lead. Flynn then grounded out to second baseman Gonzalez to finish off the inning.

Winfield hit his second triple of the game to begin the top of the sixth. Hargrove grounded out to first baseman Montanez. Pinch-hitter Broderick Perkins followed with a grounder on which Flynn threw to catcher Stearns for an out at home on Winfield. Evans fouled out to Stearns to end the inning and Rasmussen hurled a scoreless bottom half. Leading off the top of the seventh, Gonzalez hit a home run to tie the game at 3-3. Pinch-hitter Dan Briggs popped out to Montanez and a single by Gene Richards ensued. With Smith at bat, Richards was caught stealing second base on Stearns’ throw to Taveras. Swan then retired Smith on a fly ball to center fielder Mazzilli to close out the inning.

Youngblood singled against Padres’ reliever Bob Shirley with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Joel stole second base and Henderson was given an intentional walk. Flynn hit a single to bring home Youngblood with the go-ahead run and send Henderson to third. With Swan at the plate, Henderson got caught on an attempted steal of home and was tagged out by catcher Gene Tenace. Shirley then got Swan to ground out to Smith and end the inning.

Swan gave up only a single to Winfield in the top of the eighth. Shirley pitched a scoreless bottom half and Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood threw a called third strike past Evans to start the top of the ninth. Gonzalez was retired on a ground ball to Taveras. Lockwood then got pinch-hitter Kurt Bevacqua to line out to Flynn and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on a trio of RBI singles.