August 23, 1970: Three Runs in 9th Beat Reds

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Date: August 23, 1970
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 5
Reds: 4
Winning pitcher: Ron Taylor
Key player(s): Tommie Agee, Art Shamsky
Key play: Shamsky's single, Foy's walk

The Mets faced the Reds in a doubleheader at Shea Stadium on a Sunday afternoon. In the first game, the Mets were behind by two runs in the ninth inning. They scored three times in their final at bat to pull out a 5-4 victory over Cincinnati.

The opener of the twinbill got under way after a rain delay. The Reds got a run against Mets' starter Gary Gentry when Tony Perez's double scored Bobby Tolan in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Tommie Agee's home run off Cincinnati's Gary Nolan tied the game for the Mets.

Gentry and Nolan each pitched scoreless ball over the next three innings. In the fifth, Perez got his second double and Johnny Bench followed with a home run to give Cincinnati a 3-1 lead. Nolan then hurled two more scoreless innings before Agee hit his second home run in the bottom of the seventh.

Bernie Carbo's single off Mets' reliever Ron Taylor scored Bench in the top of the eighth. Taylor then got Tommy Helms for an inning-ending double play and retired the Reds in order in the ninth. The Mets were trailing, 4-2, and only three outs away from defeat.

Ken Singleton led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a single off Clay Carroll. Agee followed with a single off reliever Wayne Granger, whose error allowed Singleton to score on Bud Harrelson's ensuing bunt. Granger retired Cleon Jones, but then gave up a single to Art Shamsky on which pinch-runner Al Weis scored to tie the game for the Mets. After walking Wayne Garrett intentionally to load the bases, Granger got Ron Swoboda on strikes for a clutch second out. However, he then walked Joe Foy to force home Harrelson with the winning run. The Mets had an amazing come-from-behind win over the team with the best record in Major League Baseball.