August 23, 1981: Mets Defeat Reds in 10

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Date: August 23, 1981
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 3
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Neil Allen
Key player(s): Mike Jorgensen, Bob Bailor, Neil Allen
Key play: Jorgensen’s and Bailor’s sacrifice flies

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the third of four games in an overlapping weekend series. In 10 innings, the Mets came away with a 3-2 win.

Mookie Wilson singled against Reds’ starter Tom Seaver to lead off the top of the first. Wilson stole second base and moved to third on Frank Taveras’s sacrifice bunt. Hubie Brooks grounded out to second baseman Ron Oester to drive home Wilson for a 1-0 Mets lead. Dave Kingman drew a walk and Ellis Valentine hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Dave Concepcion for the third out. For the Mets, Ed Lynch pitched a scoreless bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Seaver retired the Mets on three straight infield grounders in the top of the fourth. Concepcion reached third base on errors by third baseman Brooks and right fielder Valentine to begin the bottom half. George Foster singled to bring home Concepcion with the tying run. Joe Nolan was retired on a pop-up to second baseman Doug Flynn. Lynch then got Ray Knight on a grounder to Flynn for a double play that ended the inning.

Seaver hurled a perfect top of the fifth. With one out in the bottom half, Oester hit a double against Lynch. Seaver singled to score Oester and put the Reds ahead, 2-1. On his own hit, Seaver was out at second base via a relay throw by catcher John Stearns to Flynn. Dave Collins doubled and Mets’ reliever Terry Leach issued an intentional walk to Ken Griffey. Concepcion drew a walk to load the bases. Leach then threw a called third strike past Foster for the inning’s final out.

Seaver and Leach each hurled perfect sixth and seventh innings. Pinch-hitter Mike Cubbage tripled with one out in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Mike Jorgensen followed with a sacrifice fly to score Cubbage and tie the game at 2-2. Wilson grounded out to Oester to end the inning and Griffey singled against Mets’ reliever Neil Allen to open the bottom half. Griffey stole second base and Concepcion drew a walk. Foster went down on strikes and Nolan flied out to center fielder Wilson. Knight walked to load the bases and Allen retired Dan Driessen on an inning-ending fly ball to Wilson. Seaver pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Allen then set down the Reds in order in the bottom half to send the game onward.

Rusty Staub got a one-out single against Cincinnati reliever Tom Hume in the top of the 10th. Stearns singled to send pinch-runner Alex Trevino to third base and advanced to second on an error by third baseman Knight. Bob Bailor hit a sacrifice fly to plate Trevino and put the Mets ahead by a run. Hume then fanned Allen for the third out of the inning.

Griffey singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th. On Concepcion’s ensuing bunt, Stearns threw to shortstop Taveras for an out at second base on Griffey. Taveras followed up with a throw to first baseman Kingman to complete a double play. Allen then got Foster to fly out to left fielder Bailor and end the game. The Mets had a victory in extra innings.