August 26, 1969: Eleven Hits Down Padres

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Date: August 26, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 8
Padres: 4
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Donn Clendenon, Cleon Jones, Ron Swoboda
Key play: Clendenon’s home run, Jones’ double, Swoboda’s home run

The Mets faced the Padres in a doubleheader on a Tuesday evening. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-four-minute opener of the twinbill at San Diego Stadium. The Mets collected a total of eleven hits in an 8-4 win.

Following a scoreless first inning, Padres’ starter Dick Kelley shut down the Mets again in the top of the second. Nate Colbert drew a walk against New York’s Tom Seaver with one out in the bottom half. Van Kelly flied out to center fielder Tommie Agee and a two-run homer by Cito Gaston ensued. Walt Hriniak was retired on a fly ball to Agee to finish off the inning and Kelley set down the side in order in the top of the third. Seaver then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Agee drew a one-out walk in the top of the fourth inning. Cleon Jones popped out to second baseman Jose Arcia and a home run by Donn Clendenon tied the game at 2-2. Kelley struck out Ron Swoboda to end the inning and Seaver retired all three San Diego batters in the bottom half. With one out in the top of the fifth, Al Weis singled against Padres’ reliever Tommie Sisk. Seaver went down on strikes and Weis was caught stealing on catcher Hriniak’s throw to shortstop Roberto Pena for the third out. Seaver then set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.

Bud Harrelson grounded out to Arcia to open the top of the sixth. Bobby Pfeil and Agee followed with consecutive singles to center field. Jones hit a double that scored Pfeil and Agee for a 4-2 Mets lead. Trying to advance on his own hit, Jones was out via a throw by Pena to third baseman Kelly. Sisk retired Clendenon on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Ollie Brown. Seaver then recorded two strikeouts in setting down the Padres in order in the bottom half.

Swoboda homered against San Diego reliever Gary Ross to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Jerry Grote hit a single to right field. Weis followed with a single on which he moved to second base (and Grote to third) via an error by center fielder Gaston. Seaver was struck out and Harrelson singled to drive home Grote as Weis moved to third. With the Padres’ Dave Roberts on the mound, Pfeil grounded out to Arcia to bring home Weis. Agee followed with a single that scored Harrelson and increased the Mets’ lead to 8-2. Roberts then retired Jones on a line drive to Kelly for the inning’s final out.

Brown hit a home run to begin the bottom of the seventh. Al Ferrara reached on shortstop Harrelson’s error and Colbert went down on strikes. Kelly hit a force play grounder to second baseman Weis and came around to score on a triple by Gaston. Seaver got Hriniak on a ground ball to Harrelson to close out the inning and Roberts hurled a scoreless top of the eighth. The Padres were then set down in order by Seaver in the bottom half.

Harrelson drew a walk with one out in the top of the ninth inning. Pfeil got an infield single for the Mets’ eleventh hit of the game. Roberts got Agee on a double play grounder to Arcia that ended the inning and Brown grounded out to third baseman Pfeil to lead off the bottom half. Ferrara singled and Colbert followed with a force play ground ball to Harrelson. Seaver then got Kelly to hit a force play grounder to Weis and bring the game to an end. The Mets had begun the doubleheader – and a west coast trip – with a victory.