August 11, 1981: Searage's First Major League Win

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Date: August 11, 1981
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 4
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Ray Searage
Key player(s): Ray Searage, Hubie Brooks, Doug Flynn
Key play: Flynn’s single, Brooks’ sacrifice fly and double

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the second of four games in a series at Wrigley Field. Ray Searage recorded his first major league win in a 4-2 Mets victory.

After two scoreless innings, Cubs’ starter Randy Martz gave up just a single to Frank Taveras in the top of the third. Steve Dillard doubled against the Mets’ Pat Zachry to lead off the bottom half. Dillard advanced to third base on Martz’s sacrifice bunt and came home on a sacrifice fly by Ivan De Jesus. Steve Henderson hit a single to right field. Zachry then retired Bill Buckner on a ground ball to first baseman Dave Kingman to end the inning.

Following a scoreless fourth, Mookie Wilson singled with one out in the top of the fifth. Wilson was caught by Martz’s pickoff throw to first baseman Buckner and a bunt single by Taveras ensued. Joel Youngblood drew a walk and Kingman singled to drive home Taveras with the tying run. Chicago reliever Lee Smith got Ellis Valentine to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop De Jesus for the third out of the inning and a single by Ken Reitz opened the bottom half. Dillard followed with a force play grounder to shortstop Taveras and went to second base on Smith’s sacrifice bunt. De Jesus singled to drive home Dillard for a 2-1 Cubs lead. Zachry then got Henderson to ground out to third baseman Hubie Brooks and finish off the inning.

Smith hurled a perfect top of the sixth. Leon Durham got a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Pete Falcone in the bottom half. With Bobby Bonds at bat, Durham got caught by Falcone’s pickoff throw and was tagged out by Kingman following a rundown. Bonds singled and Falcone retired Jody Davis on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Youngblood. Smith yielded only a double to Wilson in the top of the seventh. Searage then came in to pitch and set down all three Chicago batters in the bottom half.

Kingman drew a walk to lead off the top of the eighth. Valentine singled to send Kingman to third base and Smith was replaced on the mound by Cubs’ reliever Dick Tidrow. Brooks hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Kingman and advance Valentine to second. Stearns grounded out and Doug Flynn singled to score Valentine for a 3-2 Mets lead. Searage got a single in his first major league at bat and Wilson drew a walk against Chicago’s Doug Capilla to load the bases. Cubs’ reliever Mike Griffin then got Taveras on a force play grounder to De Jesus that ended the inning.

Searage shut down the Cubs in the bottom of the eighth. Valentine drew a walk with two outs in the top of the ninth. Brooks hit a double to bring home Valentine with the Mets’ fourth run. Griffin retired Stearns on an inning-ending line drive to center fielder Bonds, who was walked by Searage to open the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen got Davis to hit a double play ground ball to second baseman Flynn. Reitz singled to keep the Cubs’ chances alive. Allen then retired pinch-hitter Mike Lum on a foul pop-up to first baseman Mike Jorgensen to end the game. Searage had his first win in the majors as the Mets claimed their second straight victory to begin the season’s official second half.

Notes

  • Searage’s single was the only hit of his major league career. Ray’s 1.000 batting average remained intact until a pair of hitless at bats with the Dodgers in 1990.