August 1, 1977: Pinch-Hit Singles Beat Dodgers

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Date: August 1, 1977
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 8
Dodgers: 7
Winning pitcher: Skip Lockwood
Key player(s): Steve Henderson, Lenny Randle, Ed Kranepool, Joel Youngblood
Key play: Henderson’s home run, Kranepool’s single, Youngblood’s single

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Ed Kranepool and Joel Youngblood delivered run-scoring, pinch-hit singles in extra innings that produced an 8-7 Mets win in 12 over Los Angeles.

In the top of the first inning, Bill Russell got a one-out double off Mets’ starter Pat Zachry. Russell moved to third base on Reggie Smith’s fly ball to center fielder Lee Mazzilli and scored on an ensuing single by Ron Cey. Zachry walked Steve Garvey and retired Dusty Baker on a fly ball to left fielder Steve Henderson for the third out. Henderson tripled off the Dodgers’ Don Sutton with two outs in the bottom half. John Milner singled to bring home Steve with the tying run. Sutton issued walks to John Stearns and Mike Vail to load the bases. Mazzilli then popped out second baseman Dave Lopes to end the inning.

Zachry and Sutton each pitched a scoreless second. In the top of the third, Russell singled with one out and advanced to third base on a single by Smith. Cey hit a triple to drive home Russell and Smith for a 3-1 Los Angeles lead. Zachry threw a called third strike past Garvey and walked Baker. Joe Simpson fouled out to third baseman Lenny Randle to end the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Stearns hit a single to left field and Vail struck out. Mazzilli followed with a double to score Stearns. Sutton then retired Doug Flynn on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Cey.

Zachry set down the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. Randle tripled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Lenny came home on Felix Millan’s single to tie the game. Henderson hit a grounder to Cey for a double play that ended the inning. Smith got a one-out single in the top of the fifth. Cey hit a two-run homer and Garvey followed with another home run to put Los Angeles ahead, 6-3. Zachry retired Baker and Simpson on consecutive infield grounders for the second and third outs. Sutton then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Lopes doubled with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Trying to advance to third on the hit, Lopes was out on a relay from right fielder Vail to shortstop Flynn to third baseman Randle. Lenny drew a two-out walk and scored on an ensuing double by Millan in the bottom half. Henderson followed with a two-run homer to tie the game at 6-6. Dodgers’ reliever Lance Rautzhan came in to pitch and issued a walk to Milner. Stearns then hit a ground ball to Cey for an inning-ending force play.

Despite loading the bases, the Dodgers failed to score against Mets’ relievers Paul Siebert and Skip Lockwood in the top of the seventh. Los Angeles’s Charlie Hough shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning. Lockwood and Hough each pitched scoreless ball in the eighth and the ninth. Skip set down the Dodgers in order in the top of the 10th. Dodgers’ reliever Mike Garman pitched a perfect bottom half. In the top of the 11th, Lopes homered with two outs for a one-run Los Angeles lead. Russell hit a single to left field. Lockwood then retired Smith on a foul pop-up to Stearns for the third out.

Garman hit Stearns with a pitch to begin the bottom of the 11th inning. Vail flied out to right fielder Smith and a single by Mazzilli advanced Stearns to second. As a pinch-hitter for Flynn, Kranepool singled to drive home Stearns and retie the game at 7-7. Bruce Boisclair hit into an inning-ending double play. Lockwood then pitched a scoreless top of the 12th.

Randle doubled and Millan was given an intentional walk to start the bottom of the 12th inning. Garman followed up with a strikeout of Henderson. Youngblood came up to pinch-hit for Lockwood and drove a single to left field that plated Randle with the winning run. The Mets had an amazing extra-inning victory over the National League West Division leaders.