August 3, 1986: Knight's Clutch Hits Beat Expos

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Date: August 3, 1986
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 4
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Ray Knight, Danny Heep, Wally Backman
Key play: Knight’s double in 8th & single in 10th

The Mets and Expos concluded a series on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 47,167 was on hand to see the Mets aim for a three-game sweep. Ray Knight drove in three runs with a pair of two-out hits to lift the Mets to a 4-3 win over Montreal.

Bob Ojeda and Expos’ starter Bryn Smith each retired the side in order in the first inning. Ojeda pitched a perfect top of the second and Danny Heep drew a walk with one out in the bottom half. Smith retired Knight on a line drive to shortstop Luis Rivera and gave up a single to Ed Hearn. An ensuing single by Rafael Santana scored Heep for a 1-0 Mets lead. Smith then struck out Ojeda to end the inning.

From the third inning to the sixth, Ojeda and Smith pitched shutout ball. Bob faced the minimum twelve batters and continued to keep Montreal hitless. Smith yielded singles to Wally Backman and Heep in the third and fourth, respectively, and pitched a 1-2-3 fifth. Kevin Mitchell walked and advanced to third base on Heep’s single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Knight then hit into a force play for the final out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Rivera got the Expos’ first hit (and first of his major league career) with a one-out single. Rivera went to second on Tim Raines’ ground out and scored the tying run on Andre Dawson’s single. Ojeda struck out Tim Wallach to end the inning. Smith then retired three straight Mets batters after a walk to Hearn in the bottom half.

Ojeda retired all three Montreal batters on outfield flies in the top of the eighth inning. Keith Hernandez drew a walk and Heep got his third single of the game in the bottom half. With two outs in the inning, Knight hit a double that brought home Hernandez and Heep to put the Mets ahead, 3-1. Smith then retired Hearn on a ground ball to Rivera for the third out.

In the top of the ninth, Al Newman got an infield single with one out. Newman went to second on a single by Rivera. Raines added a single to score Newman for the Expos’ second run. Ojeda was then replaced on the mound by Roger McDowell.

Dawson greeted McDowell with a single that plated Rivera to tie the game. Roger followed up by getting Wallach for an inning-ending double play. Expos’ reliever Bob McClure pitched a perfect bottom of the inning. McDowell then retired Montreal in order in the top of the 10th.

Backman got an infield single off McClure to begin the bottom of the 10th inning. With one out, Mitchell singled off reliever Tim Burke to move Backman to second base. Pinch-hitter Howard Johnson hit a line drive to second baseman Newman for the second out. Knight followed with a single to right field, scoring Backman with the winning run. The Mets had a sweep of the series.