August 24, 1965: Stephenson's Double in 9th Beats Dodgers

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Date: August 24, 1965
Mets starter: Al Jackson
Mets: 4
Dodgers: 3
Winning pitcher: Dave Eilers
Key player(s): John Stephenson
Key play: Stephenson's three-run double

The Mets played the Dodgers on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 37,023 watched as the Mets came up with a dramatic win. John Stephenson hit a double in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the home team a 4-3 triumph over Los Angeles.

Al Jackson and the Dodgers' Howie Reed started the game with three scoreless innings. In the fourth, Jackson retired Los Angeles in order on three ground balls. The Mets then took a 1-0 lead when Roy McMillan scored on an infield out in the bottom of the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets had two runners thrown out at the plate and failed to score. The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the sixth when Lou Johnson singled off Jackson to bring home Maury Wills. Reed shut down the Mets in the bottom half and neither team scored in the seventh.

Don Drysdale, pinch-hitting for Reed, singled off Jackson to begin the top of the eighth inning. Wills' sacrifice bunt advanced pinch-runner Willie Crawford to second base and Wes Parker drew a walk. Johnson followed with a double to score Crawford and Parker to put Los Angeles ahead, 3-1. Jackson then got Jim Lefebvre to ground out before giving up a single to Ron Fairly on which Johnson was thrown out at home by left fielder Ron Swoboda.

The Mets were held scoreless by the Dodgers' Bob Miller in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, Dave Eilers shut down Los Angeles on only one hit. The Mets came to bat in the bottom of the inning trailing by two runs.

Swoboda reached on an error by second baseman Lefebvre to begin the ninth for New York. Ed Kranepool and Joe Christopher followed with singles off Miller to load the bases with none out. Pinch-hitting for Chris Cannizzaro, Stephenson hit a double to right field that brought home all three runners to end the game. The Mets had an exciting victory over the National League's first place team.

Notes

  • The win for Eilers was the first of his major league career