August 29, 1975: Six Runs in 1st Lead Mets Past Dodgers

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Date: August 29, 1975
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 6
Dodgers: 1
Winning pitcher: Jon Matlack
Key player(s): Jon Matlack, Dave Kingman
Key play: Kingman’s home run, Matlack’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night in Los Angeles. The teams played the opener of a three-game series to close out the month of August. The Mets scored six runs in the first inning and came away with a 6-1 win.

Dodgers’ starter Don Sutton retired Del Unser and Felix Millan of fly balls to right fielder Tom Paciorek to begin the game. Mike Vail got an infield single and Rusty Staub followed with a double to left field. Dave Kingman hit a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Wayne Garrett singled and moved to third base on a double by Mike Phillips. Sutton walked John Stearns intentionally to load the bases. Jon Matlack hit a single to center field to score Garrett and Phillips. Unser singled to bring home Stearns for the Mets’ sixth run. Los Angeles reliever Al Downing then came in to pitch and got Millan on an inning-ending line drive back to the mound.

Mets’ starter Matlack retired the side in order in the bottom of the first. From the second inning to the fifth, Jon shut down the Dodgers on three hits while Downing allowed four singles in pitching scoreless ball. The Mets failed to score in the top of the sixth and Lee Lacy homered to begin the bottom half. With one out, Steve Garvey singled and advanced to second on an error by center fielder Unser. Matlack retired Ron Cey and Steve Yeager on infield ground balls for the last two outs of the inning. Dodgers’ reliever Charlie Hough retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Matlack then set down all three Los Angeles batters in the bottom half.

Hough and Matlack each pitched a perfect eighth inning. Kingman was hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth. Dave stole second base and Garrett drew a walk. Hough then got Phillips on a pop-up to third baseman Cey to end the inning.

Garvey singled to center field to open the bottom of the ninth. Cey hit a grounder to third baseman Garrett for a double play. Matlack then struck out Yeager to finish off the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.