August 6, 1968: Collins' Homer Beats Astros

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Date: August 6, 1968
Mets starter: Don Cardwell
Mets: 4
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Cal Koonce
Key player(s): Kevin Collins
Key play: Collins' home run in 9th

The Mets faced the Astros on a Tuesday night in Houston. The game was a tight battle that was tied after eight innings. The Mets came out with a 4-1 win on a three-run homer by Kevin Collins in the ninth.

Don Cardwell and Houston's Dave Giusti each pitched scoreless ball for the first six innings. Each allowed four hits while shutting down each other's teams. Giusti himself got two of the Astros' four hits off Don.

In the top of the seventh inning, Larry Stahl and Cleon Jones led off with singles for the Mets. Both advanced on Ed Kranepool's sacrifice bunt before J. C. Martin was walked intentionally to load the bases. Collins then hit into a force play to bring home Stahl and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Cardwell followed up by retiring the Astros in order in the bottom of the inning.

Giusti got his third single of the game to lead off the bottom of the eighth for Houston. Two more singles loaded the bases with none out. Giusti scored on Norm Miller's sacrifice fly to tie the game. Mets' reliever Cal Koonce then got the final out of the inning on Doug Rader's force play grounder.

Jones and Kranepool got one-out singles in the top of the ninth inning. After Cleon stole third base, Giusti got Martin on an infield pop-up for the second out. Collins then homered to put the Mets ahead by three runs. For Kevin, it was the first home run of his major league career.

In the bottom of the ninth, Lee Thomas led off with a single for the Astros. Koonce got John Bateman to ground into a double play before giving up singles to Dick Simpson and Bob Aspromonte. Cal then got Hector Torres on a ground ball to third baseman Collins for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory at the Astrodome.