August 12, 1980: Burris Buries Bucs

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Date: August 12, 1980
Mets starter: Ray Burris
Mets: 3
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Ray Burris
Key player(s): Ray Burris, Alex Trevino, Steve Henderson
Key play: Trevino’s two-run single, Henderson’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the second of three games in a series at Three Rivers Stadium. Ray Burris pitched eight solid innings and got the win as the Mets defeated the Bucs, 3-1.

The teams hooked up in a scoreless contest from the first inning to the sixth. Pirates’ starter Rick Rhoden shut down the Mets on three hits while Burris gave up a double and three singles in holding Pittsburgh without a run. In the top of the seventh, Lee Mazzilli led off with a single to right field. Claudell Washington singled and a sacrifice bunt by Steve Henderson put runners on second and third base. Joel Youngblood was walked intentionally to load the bases. Alex Trevino delivered a single that drove home Mazzilli and Washington for a 2-0 Mets lead. With Doug Flynn at bat, Youngblood was out on an attempted steal of home. Rhoden issued an intentional walk to Flynn and struck out Burris to end the inning. Ray then set down the Bucs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Rhoden and Burris each retired the side in order in the eighth. Washington singled against Pittsburgh reliever Kent Tekulve to open the top of the ninth. With Henderson at the plate, Washington was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Ed Ott to shortstop Tim Foli. Henderson followed with a homer to extend the Mets’ lead to three runs. Youngblood drew a walk and stole second base. Joel advanced to third on an errant throw by Ott. Trevino went down on strikes and Flynn received his second intentional walk of the game. Tekulve then fanned Burris for the inning’s final out.

A home run by Mike Easler began the bottom of the ninth inning. Burris was relieved by Neil Allen, who threw a called third strike past Willie Stargell and walked Bill Madlock. Lee Lacy grounded out to shortstop Frank Taveras. Allen then struck out Ott to end the game. The Mets had a victory as Burris held the defending World Champion Pirates in check.