April 9, 1978: Mets Hold On to Beat Expos

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Date: April 9, 1978
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 6
Expos: 5
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Bruce Boisclair, Steve Henderson
Key play: Boisclair’s home run, Henderson’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Expos in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and forty-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. A pair of home runs and an unsuccessful Montreal comeback attempt produced a 6-5 Mets win.

Mets’ starter Pat Zachry pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Lenny Randle drew a walk to lead off the bottom half. With Tim Foli at bat, Randle was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Gary Carter to second baseman Dave Cash. Foli also drew a walk and Bruce Boisclair hit a two-run homer. Expos’ starter Wayne Twitchell followed up by issuing consecutive walks to Willie Montanez and Ken Henderson. Lee Mazzilli flied out to right fielder Ellis Valentine. Trying to advance to third after the catch, Montanez was out on a throw from Valentine to third baseman Wayne Garrett to complete an inning-ending double play.

With one out in the top of the second, Tony Perez reached on an error by third baseman Randle. Perez moved to third on Del Unser’s single and Garrett went down on strikes. Chris Speier popped out to shortstop Foli to finish off the inning and Doug Flynn got a one-out single in the bottom half. Zachry drew a walk (the Mets’ fifth in the game) and Randle was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Twitchell was then replaced on the mound by Expos’ reliever Hal Dues, who got Foli to hit a ground ball to Garrett for a double play that ended the inning.

Zachry and Dues each pitched scoreless ball in the third and fourth innings. In the top of the fifth, Valentine homered for the first Montreal run of the game. Cash flied out to center fielder Mazzilli to end the inning and Dues set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Zachry hurled a perfect top of the sixth and back-to-back singles by Boisclair and Montanez opened the bottom half. Ken Henderson was called out on strikes and Mazzilli drew a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Steve Henderson slugged a grand slam against Expos’ reliever Darold Knowles to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-1. Knowles then retired both Flynn and Zachry on consecutive grounders to Garrett for the inning’s final outs.

Zachry yielded only a single to Unser in the top of the seventh. Montreal’s Fred Holdsworth surrendered just a walk to Boisclair in the bottom of the inning and Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. With one out in the bottom half, Mazzilli drew the Mets’ eighth walk of the game. John Stearns fouled out to left fielder Unser and a single by Flynn ensued. Holdsworth then got Lockwood on a force play ground ball to shortstop Speier for the third out of the inning.

Carter drew a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth. Perez popped out to Randle and a single by Unser followed. Garrett fouled out to left fielder Boisclair and a single by Speier drove home Carter. Pinch-hitter Larry Parrish doubled to score Unser and Speier, cutting the Mets’ lead to 6-4. Valentine singled against New York reliever Mardie Cornejo to bring home Parrish with the Expos’ fifth run. Cornejo then retired Cash on a fly ball to Mazzilli for the game’s final out. The Mets had held on for a victory to begin the doubleheader.