August 15, 1965: Jackson Blanks Astros

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Date: August 15, 1965
Mets starter: Al Jackson
Mets: 3
Astros: 0
Winning pitcher: Al Jackson
Key player(s): Al Jackson, Johnny Lewis, Ron Swoboda, Charley Smith
Key play: Lewis’s triple, Swoboda’s home run, Smith’s double

The Mets and Astros faced each other on a Sunday afternoon. On the day that the Beatles performed at Shea Stadium, Mets’ lefthander Al Jackson put on a show of his own at Houston’s Astrodome. Jackson pitched a complete game shutout in a 3-0 Mets win.

Roy McMillan singled against Astros’ starter Bob Bruce with one out in the top of the first inning. An ensuing triple by Johnny Lewis scored McMillan for a 1-0 Mets lead. Charley Smith followed with a grounder on which shortstop Bob Lillis threw to catcher Gus Triandos for an out at home on Lewis. Bruce retired Ed Kranepool on an inning-ending pop-up to Lillis. Jackson then set down all three Houston batters in the bottom half.

Ron Swoboda homered to lead off the top of the second. Bruce retired the next three Mets hitters and Joe Gaines singled for the Astros’ first hit with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Triandos drew a walk and Lillis hit a force play ground ball to shortstop McMillan to end the inning. Bruce held the Mets to a single by Lewis in a scoreless top of the third and grounded back to Jackson to open the bottom half. Ron Brand singled and Joe Morgan drew a walk. Jackson then got Jim Wynn on a grounder to third baseman Smith for a double play that closed out the inning.

Bruce and Jackson each hurled scoreless fourth and fifth innings. To begin the top of the sixth, McMillan reached on an error by second baseman Morgan. Lewis hit a force play grounder to first baseman Frank Thomas. Smith followed with a double to drive home Lewis for the Mets’ third run of the game. Kranepool popped out to Thomas and an intentional walk to Swoboda ensued. Bruce retired Joe Christopher on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Gaines. Bob Aspromonte singled with one out in the bottom half. Gaines flied out to center fielder Lewis. Jackson then got Triandos on a force play grounder to McMillan for the third out.

Bruce set down the Mets in order in the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Eddie Kasko got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Brand flied out to Lewis and an error by second baseman Chuck Hiller allowed Morgan to reach base. Jackson got Lee Maye to ground out to Hiller and end the inning. Houston reliever Mike Cuellar pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Jackson then retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Cuellar got Kranepool to pop out to Thomas and fanned Swoboda to begin the top of the ninth inning. Jim Hickman singled and advanced to third base on an ensuing single by Jimmie Schaffer. Jackson drew a walk to load the bases. Ron Taylor then came in to pitch for Houston and got pinch-hitter Bobby Klaus on an inning-ending force play grounder to third baseman Aspromonte.

Jackson fanned Triandos to start the bottom of the ninth. Lillis singled and pinch-hitter Rusty Staub went down on strikes. Jackson then got Brand on a line drive to left fielder Gary Kolb for the game’s final out. The Mets had their second consecutive shutout victory to conclude the weekend series.

Notes

  • This was Triandos’s last game of his 13-year major league career.