August 17, 1966: Mets Rally to Beat Pirates

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Date: August 17, 1966
Mets starter: Jack Fisher
Mets: 8
Pirates: 7
Winning pitcher: Bill Hepler
Key player(s): Hawk Taylor, Ron Hunt, Bob Friend
Key play: Taylor's grand slam, Hunt's two-run single

The Mets and Pirates played on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The game started out as a Pittsburgh blowout, but the Mets stormed back in the middle innings. It ended in an 8-7 Mets victory.

The league-leading Pirates homered in each of the first three innings against Mets' starter Jack Fisher. In the first, Willie Stargell hit a two-run homer to give Pittsburgh its initial lead. Bill Mazeroski hit one over the wall for another Pirate run in the second. Following Jose Pagan's run-scoring single in the third, Donn Clendenon homered for three more runs and Fisher was removed from the game. The Mets, meanwhile, scored in the first on Cleon Jones' solo home run off Pirates' starter Bob Veale.

Mets' reliever Bill Hepler retired the side in order in the top of the fourth. Jones started the bottom of the inning with an infield single. Ken Boyer and Jim Hickman also singled to bring home Jones. Veale then walked Ron Swoboda to load the bases and Jerry Grote flied out to left field. Hawk Taylor, pinch-hitting for Ed Kranepool, hit a grand slam off Veale to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 7-6.

In the sixth, Hepler retired the first two Pirates before allowing a single to Matty Alou. Gene Alley followed with a grounder on which Alou was hit by the batted ball for the final out. Alley was credited with a single. The Mets then took the lead on Ron Hunt's two-out single off reliever Al McBean that scored Swoboda and Taylor.

Bob Friend came in to pitch for the Mets in the bottom of the seventh. Bob was no friend to his former Pirate teammates, tossing three scoreless innings against them to end the game. The Mets had a comeback win over the National League's first place team.

Notes

  • The win lifted the Mets into sole possession of eighth place in the National League standings.