August 5, 1979: Cardenal's Homer Lifts Mets Over Expos

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Date: August 5, 1979
Mets starter: Dock Ellis
Mets: 4
Expos: 2
Winning pitcher: Dock Ellis
Key player(s): Doug Flynn, Jose Cardenal, Willie Montanez
Key play: Flynn’s triple, Cardenal’s home run, Montanez’s double

The Mets faced the Expos in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon in Montreal. The teams played a two-hour and thirty-nine-minute opening game of the twinbill at Olympic Stadium. Jose Cardenal hit a tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning in a 4-2 Mets win.

Following a scoreless first inning, Joel Youngblood got a one-out single in the top of the second. Alex Trevino reached on an error by shortstop Chris Speier. A triple by Doug Flynn brought home Youngblood and Trevino for a 2-0 Mets lead. Expos’ starter Ross Grimsley retired Dock Ellis on a fly ball to right fielder Ellis Valentine and got Cardenal on a ground ball to Speier for the third out of the inning. Mets’ starter Ellis then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Grimsley and Ellis each hurled scoreless ball from the third inning to the fifth. The Mets were held to a single by Trevino in the top of the sixth. Andre Dawson singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. A single by Tony Perez advanced Dawson to third base. Gary Carter hit a single to score Dawson with the Expos’ first run of the game. Valentine’s sacrifice bunt moved Perez to third and Carter to second. Larry Parrish reached on an infield grounder to drive home Perez and tie the game. Ellis then got pinch-hitter Rusty Staub to hit a ground ball to second baseman Flynn for an inning-ending double play.

Grimsley retired pinch-hitter Gil Flores on a grounder to third baseman Parrish to open the top of the seventh inning. Cardenal homered to put the Mets ahead. Frank Taveras hit a single and Lee Mazzilli flied out to Valentine. A double by Willie Montanez scored Taveras to increase the Mets lead to two runs. Montreal reliever Stan Bahnsen got John Stearns on a fly ball to Valentine to close out the inning. For the Mets, Ed Glynn pitched a perfect bottom half.

The Mets were set down in order by the Expos’ Scott Sanderson in the top of the eighth. Glynn retired all three Montreal batters in the bottom of the inning. Sanderson pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth and Valentine grounded out to third baseman Trevino to begin the bottom half. Parrish singled to right field and pinch-hitter Dave Cash hit a force play grounder to Trevino. Glynn then got pinch-hitter Duffy Dyer to line out to first baseman Montanez and end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the doubleheader.