August 28, 1971: Early Offense Clubs Dodgers

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Date: August 28, 1971
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 9
Dodgers: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Donn Clendenon, Jerry Grote, Ted Martinez
Key play: Clendenon’s single and homer, Grote’s single

The Mets faced the Dodgers in a Saturday doubleheader. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. The Mets erupted for eight runs in the first two innings and coasted to a 9-2 win over Los Angeles.

Mets’ starter Tom Seaver pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Ted Martinez singled against the Dodgers’ Claude Osteen to lead off the bottom half. Ken Boswell hit a single and Cleon Jones drew a walk to load the bases. Donn Clendenon singled to drive home Martinez and Boswell. An ensuing single by Tommie Agee brought home Jones and sent Clendenon to third base. Bob Aspromonte hit a double to score Clendenon with the Mets’ fourth run and Osteen was replaced on the mound by Los Angeles reliever Joe Moeller. Jerry Grote greeted Moeller with a single that plated Agee and Aspromonte, increasing the New York lead to 6-0. With Don Hahn at bat, Grote moved to second on catcher Tom Haller’s errant pickoff throw. Hahn grounded out to shortstop Maury Wills and a strikeout of Seaver ensued. Moeller then retired Martinez on a grounder to Wills for the inning’s third out.

Seaver shut down the Dodgers in the top of the second. Jones got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Clendenon followed with a homer for an eight-run Mets lead and Agee flied out to right fielder Bill Buckner. Moeller issued a walk to Aspromonte and got Grote on an inning-ending force play ground ball to third baseman Dick Allen. With two outs in the top of the third, Willie Davis homered for the first Los Angeles run of the game. Allen drew a walk and Seaver retired Willie Crawford on a fly ball to center fielder Hahn to close out the inning. In the bottom half, Tom got a one-out single and advanced to third base on a double by Martinez. Moeller then got Boswell and Jones to hit consecutive infield grounders for the final outs of the inning.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Seaver held the Dodgers to a single by Wes Parker in the top of the sixth. Martinez singled and stole second base to open the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Wayne Garrett lined out to Buckner and a double by Jones brought home Martinez to extend the Mets’ lead to 9-1. Clendenon was retired on a ground ball to Allen. Moeller then got Agee to ground out to second baseman Bill Russell and end the inning.

To begin the top of the seventh, pinch-hitter Bill Sudakis reached on an error by third baseman Aspromonte. Bobby Valentine singled to send Sudakis to third and Buckner hit a force play grounder to first baseman Clendenon. Davis followed with a ground ball to second baseman Garrett for a double play that ended the inning. Los Angeles reliever Hoyt Wilhelm pitched a perfect bottom half and Seaver set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Wilhelm then retired all three Mets batters in the bottom of the inning.

Haller doubled to lead off the top of the ninth. Russell went down on strikes and pinch-hitter Duke Sims singled to advance Haller to third base. Valentine hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Haller with the Dodgers’ second run. Buckner then grounded back to Seaver for the final out of the game. The Mets had a solid victory to begin the doubleheader.