August 31, 1973: Three Runs in 10th Defeat Cardinals

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Date: August 31, 1973
Mets starter: Ray Sadecki
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 4
Winning pitcher: Tug McGraw
Key player(s): Cleon Jones, Ed Kranepool, Tug McGraw
Key play: Mets' five singles in 10th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night in St. Louis. The teams played the second of four games in a weekend series. The Mets scored three runs in the 10th inning for a 6-4 win over the Redbirds.

Cards' starter Mike Nagy pitched a perfect top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Ted Sizemore singled against the Mets' Ray Sadecki. An ensuing double by Joe Torre scored Sizemore with the first run of the game. Ted Simmons hit a single and moved to third base on left fielder Cleon Jones' error that allowed Torre to come home. Tommie Agee tripled to score Simmons for a 3-0 St. Louis lead. Sadecki then struck out Luis Melendez and retired Ken Reitz on a fly ball to Jones to end the inning.

Ed Kranepool drew a one-out walk in the top of the second. Jerry Grote went down on strikes and Don Hahn followed with a single. On the hit, Kranepool advanced to third base and Hahn went to second on an error by center fielder Agee. Bud Harrelson hit a single to drive home Kranepool. Hahn also tried to score on the hit, but was out at home via a throw by right fielder Melendez to catcher Simmons to finish off the inning. Sadecki then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

A single by Sadecki opened the top of the third inning. On Wayne Garrett's ensuing bunt, third baseman Reitz made an error that placed Mets runners on second and third base. Felix Millan grounded back to Nagy and a sacrifice fly by Jones brought home Sadecki. On the play, Garrett was caught between bases and tagged by first baseman Torre for the third out. The Cardinals were then set down in order by Sadecki in the bottom of the inning.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Jones doubled with one out in the top of the sixth. Rusty Staub drew a walk and Kranepool singled to score Jones with the tying run. On the hit, Staub was out via a relay throw from Torre to Reitz. Nagy got Grote to ground out to shortstop Mike Tyson and end the inning. Sadecki then held the Redbirds to a bunt single by Simmons in the bottom half.

Nagy and Mets' reliever Tug McGraw each pitched a scoreless seventh inning. St. Louis's Diego Segui retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth. McGraw hurled a perfect bottom half and Segui yielded just a single to Grote in the top of the ninth. Tug then set down all three Cardinal batters in the bottom of the inning to send the game onward.

Segui fanned Harrelson and McGraw to begin the top of the 10th. Garrett followed with a single and moved to second base on a single by Millan. Jones singled to score Garrett and put the Mets ahead by a run. Staub hit a single against St. Louis reliever Rich Folkers to drive home Millan. Kranepool got the Mets' fifth straight single to bring home Jones for a 6-3 New York lead. Cards' reliever Orlando Pena then retired Grote on a ground ball to Reitz for the inning's final out.

Tyson doubled to lead off the bottom of the 10th. Pinch-hitter Tim McCarver grounded out to first baseman Kranepool to send Tyson to third base. Lou Brock's ground out to second baseman Millan brought home Tyson with the Cardinals' fourth run. McGraw then got Sizemore to ground out to shortstop Harrelson and end the game. The Mets had a comeback victory to climb out of last place in the National League Eastern Division.