August 31, 1974: Rusty's 2-Run Single in 8th
|Date: August 31, 1974|
|Mets starter: Jerry Koosman|
|Winning pitcher: Bob Apodaca|
|Key player(s): Rusty Staub|
|Key play: Staub's 8th inning single|
The Mets and Braves played on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Atlanta rebounded from a four-run deficit to take the lead in the seventh inning. Rusty Staub then came through with a clutch single in the eighth to put the Mets ahead to stay for a 6-5 victory.
Jerry Koosman started the game with five shutout innings for the Mets. The only Braves' hits off Jerry were singles by Marty Perez, Ralph Garr and Leo Foster. Meanwhile, the Mets scored four times against Atlanta starter Danny Frisella. Singles by Wayne Garrett and Ted Martinez brought home three runs in the third and Staub's triple in the fourth scored Ed Kranepool from first base.
In the top of the sixth, Koosman walked Darrell Evans and Dusty Baker to start the inning. Evans later scored on Felix Millan's error and a single by Craig Robinson brought home Baker and Mike Lum. The Braves loaded the bases against Koosman in the seventh before Davey Johnson singled off reliever Bob Apodaca to tie the game. Evans then scored on Lum's ground out to put Atlanta ahead, 5-4.
Ken Boswell, batting for Apodaca, singled off Braves' reliever Max Leon to start the bottom of the eighth. Bud Harrelson followed with another single and Millan's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Tom House replaced Leon and got Kranepool to pop out. Staub then hit a single to center field, scoring Boswell and Harrelson to put the Mets in front. House ended the inning by getting Benny Ayala to ground out.
Harry Parker retired the Braves in order in the ninth for his fourth save of the season. The Mets had a comeback win after squandering and earlier lead. It was the team's third straight triumph and sixth in its last seven games.