August 22, 1981: Kingman's Slam Lifts Mets Over Reds

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Date: August 22, 1981
Mets starter: Pete Falcone
Mets: 7
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Dan Boitano
Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Hubie Brooks, Dan Boitano
Key play: Kingman’s grand slam, Brooks’ double

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday night in Cincinnati. The teams played the second of four games in an overlapping weekend series. Dave Kingman hit a grand slam that put the Mets ahead to stay in a 7-4 win.

Pete Falcone and the Reds’ Frank Pastore each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Pastore shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth and Dan Driessen got a bunt single to open the bottom half. Ray Knight flied out to left fielder Kingman and a single by Joe Nolan advanced Driessen to third base. Ron Oester hit a sacrifice fly to score Driessen with the game’s first run. Falcone then retired Pastore on a pop-up to catcher Alex Trevino to end the inning.

Rusty Staub doubled to lead off the top of the fifth. Trevino reached on second baseman Oester’s error to send Staub to third base. Doug Flynn went down on strikes and pinch-hitter Mike Jorgensen hit a force play grounder to shortstop Dave Concepcion that brought home Staub with the tying run. Jorgensen stole second and Pastore retired Mookie Wilson on an inning-ending pop-up to Concepcion. Mets’ reliever Mike Marshall then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Pastore set down the Mets in order in the top of the sixth. Driessen doubled against Marshall to begin the bottom of the inning. Knight singled to send Driessen to third base and went to second on a throw. Nolan hit a single to drive home Driessen and Knight, putting the Reds ahead by two runs. Oester drew a walk and Pastore popped out to Mets’ reliever Ray Searage on a bunt attempt. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before a walk to Dave Collins loaded the bases. Ken Griffey hit a sacrifice fly to score Nolan and increase the Cincinnati lead to 4-1. New York’s Dan Boitano then struck out Concepcion to finish off the inning.

Pastore hurled a perfect top of the seventh. Boitano shut down the Reds in the bottom half and pinch-hitter Mike Cubbage singled against Pastore with one out in the top of the eighth. Wilson singled and pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli went down on strikes. Brooks followed with an infield single to load the bases. Kingman came to bat and slugged a grand slam to put the Mets ahead, 5-4. Ellis Valentine doubled and Reds’ reliever Tom Hume issued an intentional walk to Staub. Hume then got Trevino to hit a force play ground ball to Concepcion that ended the inning.

Collins got a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Neil Allen in the bottom of the eighth. Griffey singled and Concepcion was struck out. George Foster drew a walk to load the bases and Allen threw a called third strike past Driessen for the inning’s final out. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Wilson drew a walk against Cincinnati’s Doug Bair. Mookie stole second and a walk to Bob Bailor ensued. Brooks hit a double to drive home Wilson and Bailor with the Mets’ sixth and seventh runs. Bair then retired Kingman on a ground ball to third baseman Knight to close out the inning.

Knight lined out to right fielder Valentine to begin the bottom of the ninth. Nolan was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Wilson. Allen then got Oester to ground out to second baseman Trevino (who had shifted from catcher) and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory.


  • The win for Boitano was his first in the major leagues