April 30, 1987: Aguilera Mows Down Expos

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Date: April 30, 1987
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 11
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Rick Aguilera, Keith Hernandez, Kevin McReynolds, Howard Johnson
Key play: Hernandez’s, McReynolds’ and Johnson’s home runs

The Mets faced the Expos on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. After giving up three runs in the top of the first, Rick Aguilera pitched eight hitless innings as the Mets rolled to an 11-3 win over Montreal.

Casey Candaele singled to lead off the game. Aguilera struck out Mitch Webster and threw a wild pitch that moved Candaele to second base. Andres Galarraga was retired on a ground ball to Aguilera and a single by Tim Wallach drove home Candaele. An ensuing home run by John Stefero extended the Expos’ lead to 3-0. Aguilera then got Dave Engle on an inning-ending grounder to back to the mound.

Lenny Dykstra got a bunt single against Montreal starter Jay Tibbs to begin the bottom of the first inning. Wally Backman drew a walk and Keith Hernandez hit a three-run homer to tie the game. Gary Carter flied out to left fielder Engle and Darryl Strawberry singled to right field. Kevin McReynolds reached on an error by second baseman Vance Law and a strikeout of Howard Johnson followed. Tibbs then got Dave Magadan on a force play grounder to third baseman Wallach that closed out the inning.

Aguilera yielded only a walk to Tibbs in a scoreless top of the second. Rick doubled to lead off the bottom half. Tibbs retired the next three Mets batters and Aguilera hurled a perfect top of the third inning. Tibbs set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Aguilera then retired all three Montreal hitters on infield ground balls in the top of the fourth.

Johnson hit a single to open the bottom of the fourth inning. Magadan doubled to advance Johnson to third base and Aguilera went down on strikes. Dykstra reached on Law’s second error of the game as Johnson scored to put the Mets ahead by a run. Backman followed with a grounder to Law for a double play to end the inning. Aguilera then retired the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.

Hernandez drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Carter hit a single on which Keith was out at third base via a relay throw by Law to Wallach. Strawberry was struck out and McReynolds slugged a two-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Johnson walked and stole second. Magadan was given an intentional base on balls. Tibbs then got Aguilera to hit a grounder to shortstop Tom Foley for a force play that ended the inning.

Aguilera struck out the side in order in the top of the sixth. Montreal reliever Bob McClure set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half. The Expos were limited to a walk to Law in the top of the seventh and Strawberry got a one-out triple in the bottom of the inning. McReynolds was issued an intentional walk and Johnson hit a three-run homer. Magadan followed with another home run to lengthen the Mets lead to 10-3. Montreal’s Lary Sorensen came in to pitch and struck out Aguilera. Sorensen then retired Dykstra on an inning-ending ground ball to Wallach.

Aguilera set down all three Expos to come to bat in the top of the eighth inning. Backman got a leadoff single against Montreal reliever Bill Campbell in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli doubled and Carter went down on strikes. Strawberry was walked intentionally to load the bases. McReynolds hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Backman for the Mets’ eleventh run. Campbell then got Johnson to hit a grounder on which catcher Stefero threw to first baseman Galarraga for the inning’s final out.

Galarraga grounded out to first baseman Mazzilli to begin the top of the ninth. Wallach went down on strikes. Aguilera then struck out Stefero to end the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory as Rick held the Expos without a hit from the second inning onward.

Notes

  • This was the final game for Campbell of his 15-season major league career.