August 7, 1982: Four-Run 6th Lifts Mets Over Pirates

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Date: August 7, 1982
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 5
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Bob Bailor, Ellis Valentine, Dave Kingman
Key play: Bailor’s triple, Valentine’s RBI single, Kingman’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Saturday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the third game of four in a series at Three Rivers Stadium. The Mets scored four runs in the sixth inning and came away with a 5-2 win over the Bucs.

Pirates’ starter Rick Rhoden pitched a perfect top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Johnny Ray singled and advanced to third base on a single by Bill Madlock. Jason Thompson hit a single to score Ray with the first run of the game. Mike Easler followed with a double to drive home Madlock for a 2-0 Pittsburgh lead. Mets’ starter Pat Zachry retired Lee Lacy on a fly ball to right fielder Ellis Valentine. Trying to score after the catch, Thompson was out at home via a throw by Valentine to catcher John Stearns to close out the inning.

Zachry and Rhoden each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fifth. Mookie Wilson got an infield single to lead off the top of the sixth. Wilson stole second base and came around to score on a triple by Bob Bailor. An ensuing single by Valentine plated Bailor to tie the game. Dave Kingman followed with a two-run homer that put the Mets ahead, 4-2. Rusty Staub grounded out to second baseman Ray and a strikeout of Stearns followed. Rhoden got Hubie Brooks to fly out to left fielder Easler and end the inning. Zachry then shut down the Bucs in the bottom half.

Wilson singled against Pittsburgh reliever Enrique Romo with two outs in the top of the seventh. Wilson stole second base and went to third on catcher Tony Pena’s throwing error. Bailor was retired on a pop-up to Pena for the inning’s third out. Leading off the bottom half, Omar Moreno singled and advanced to second on an error by left fielder Staub. Ray grounded out to second baseman Bailor and a pop-up by Madlock was caught by first baseman Kingman. Easler flied out to center fielder Wilson to end the inning and Romo held the Mets to a single by Staub in the top of the eighth. Zachry then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

To begin the top of the ninth inning, Brooks hit a single against Pirates’ reliever Kent Tekulve. Ron Gardenhire followed with a single and moved to second base on third baseman Madlock’s error that allowed Brooks to score. On a third strike to Zachry, Gardenhire was caught stealing via a throw by Pena to Madlock for a double play. Tekulve then retired Wilson on a ground ball to first baseman Thompson that ended the inning.

Moreno flied out to Wilson to begin the bottom of the ninth. Ray was retired on a grounder to shortstop Gardenhire. Zachry then got Madlock on a ground ball back to the mound for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory over the Bucs.