August 24, 1975: Mets Beat Giants in DH Opener

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Date: August 24, 1975
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 9
Giants: 5
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Wayne Garrett
Key play: Garrett’s triple, Kingman’s grand slam

The Mets and Giants faced each other in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and forty-five minute opener of the twinbill at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. The Mets began the day with a 9-5 win.

Jon Matlack and the Giants’ Jim Barr each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the third. Felix Millan singled to lead off the top of the fourth. Wayne Garrett hit a triple to drive home Millan and scored on Rusty Staub’s single for a 2-0 Mets lead. Dave Kingman popped out to shortstop Chris Speier and a fly ball by Joe Torre was caught by right fielder Gary Thomasson. Barr retired Jerry Grote on a foul pop-up to first baseman Willie Montanez to end the inning. Matlack then yielded only a single to Thomasson in the bottom half.

Mike Phillips hit a single to open the top of the fifth. Matlack bunted back to Barr for a force play and Del Unser flied out to Thomasson. Millan singled and a single by Garrett brought home Matlack with Wayne advancing to second base on a throw. Staub was given an intentional walk that loaded the bases and Kingman slugged a grand slam to increase the Mets’ lead to 7-0. Barr then got Torre to ground out to Speier and finish off the inning.

Speier doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Bruce Miller flied out to center fielder Unser and a walk to Mike Sadek ensued. Pinch-hitter Jake Brown flied out to right fielder Staub and a single by Von Joshua scored Speier. Derrel Thomas reached on an error by shortstop Phillips that allowed Sadek to come home with the Giants’ second run. Matlack then retired Thomasson on a fly ball to Unser for the inning’s final out.

Grote singled against San Francisco reliever Mike Caldwell to begin the top of the sixth. Phillips hit a force play ground ball to Speier and moved to second base on Matlack’s sacrifice bunt. Unser doubled to bring home Phillips for an 8-2 Mets lead. Millan reached on Montanez’s error and Caldwell fanned Garrett to close out the inning. Matlack hurled a perfect bottom half and Kingman hit a one-out double in the top of the seventh. Torre reached on a fielder’s choice grounder and Grote flied out to left fielder Gary Matthews. Phillips singled to drive home Kingman with the Mets’ ninth run of the game. Caldwell then threw a called third strike past Matlack to end the inning.

Miller singled against Matlack to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Sadek drew a walk and pinch-hitter Marc Hill lined out to second baseman Millan. Pinch-hitter Steve Ontiveros was struck out and Thomas hit a single to load the bases. Thomasson walked to force home Miller and reduce the Mets’ lead to 9-3. Matthews singled to plate both Sadek and Thomas with the fourth and fifth San Francisco runs. Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca issued a walk to Montanez to load the bases once again. Apodaca then got Speier on a grounder to third baseman Garrett for the third out of the inning.

Giants’ reliever Tom Bradley pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Apodaca gave up just a single to Miller in the bottom half and San Francisco’s Dave Heaverlo set down the side in order in the top of the ninth. Ontiveros took a called third strike to begin the bottom of the inning. Thomas was retired on a fly ball to Unser. Apodaca then got Thomasson to ground out to Millan and end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.