July 12, 1974: Four Runs in 7th Lift Mets Over Dodgers

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Date: July 12, 1974
Mets starter: Bob Apodaca
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 2
Winning pitcher: Bob Apodaca
Key player(s): Bob Apodaca, Ted Martinez
Key play: Martinez’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night in Los Angeles. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets broke up a scoreless duel with four runs in the seventh inning and came away with a 5-2 win.

Following a scoreless first inning, the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second. Ted Martinez hit a ground ball on which third baseman Ron Cey threw to catcher Joe Ferguson for a force out at home on John Milner. Dodgers’ starter Tommy John struck out Bob Apodaca to end the inning and Apodaca pitched a scoreless bottom half. Both teams were retired in order in the third and John shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth. The Dodgers loaded the bases two outs in the bottom of the inning. Apodaca then got Cey on a force play grounder to shortstop Martinez for the third out.

Apodaca and John each hurled scoreless fifth and sixth innings. In the top of the seventh, Milner led off with a single to right field. Jerry Grote singled to left field and Don Hahn got a bunt single to load the bases. Martinez followed with a single that drove home Milner and Grote for the first two runs of the game. Ted advanced to second base on a throw and Los Angeles reliever Charlie Hough walked pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool to reload the bases. Hough fanned Wayne Garrett and hit Felix Millan with a pitch to force home Hahn from third. A sacrifice fly by Rusty Staub plated Martinez to stretch the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Hough then struck out Cleon Jones to end the inning.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Steve Garvey singled against Mets’ reliever Jack Aker. Cey hit into a force play and Ferguson hit a two-run homer. Bill Russell drew a walk and pinch-hitter Von Joshua popped out to Martinez. Pinch-hitter Ken McMullen grounded out to third baseman Garrett to end the inning. Dodgers’ reliever Mike Marshall pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Aker then shut down the Dodgers after a leadoff single by Bill Buckner in the bottom half.

Aker doubled to open the top of the ninth inning. Garrett grounded out to first baseman Garvey to send Aker to third base. Millan hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Aker with the Mets’ fifth run. Marshall then retired Staub on a fly ball to right fielder Willie Crawford to close out the inning.

Cey hit a single to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Ferguson followed with a grounder to Garrett for a double play. Aker then retired Russell on a pop-up to Martinez to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the series against the National League West Division leaders.

Notes

  • Aker’s double was his first hit in four years. The save for Jack was the 123rd and final one of his 11-year major league career.