July 12, 1985: Mets Defeat Astros in 10 Innings

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Date: July 12, 1985
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 3
Astros: 2
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Darryl Strawberry, Alan Ashby, Rafael Santana
Key play: Strawberry’s home run, Ashby’s home run, Santana’s single in 10th

The Mets faced the Astros on a Friday night in Houston. The teams played the second match of a four-game weekend series. Rafael Santana delivered a run-scoring single in the 10th inning for a 3-2 Mets win.

Ron Darling and the Astros’ Joe Niekro each pitched a scoreless first inning. Leading off the top of the second, Darryl Strawberry hit a home run to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. George Foster grounded out to third baseman Denny Walling and a single by Howard Johnson ensued. Santana flied out to center fielder Kevin Bass. Niekro retired Darling on an inning-ending line drive to second baseman Bill Doran. Ron then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez got back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the third. Neikro retired the next two Mets batters to end the inning and Glenn Davis drew a walk to open the bottom half. Alan Ashby doubled to send Davis to third base and Niekro flied out to left fielder Foster. Doran drew a walk to load the bases. Craig Reynolds hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Backman on which Davis scored the tying run. Darling then got Terry Puhl on a line drive to third baseman Johnson that closed out the inning.

Following a scoreless fourth, Lenny Dykstra doubled to lead off the top of the fifth. Dykstra moved to third base on catcher Ashby’s passed ball and scored on Backman’s sacrifice fly for a 2-1 Mets lead. Hernandez hit a single and Gary Carter lined out to Walling. Niekro issued a walk to Strawberry and struck out Foster to end the inning. Darling then shut down the Astros in the bottom half.

The Mets failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the sixth. Darling hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Strawberry drew a one-out walk in the top of the seventh. Darryl stole second base and moved to third on an error by Ashby. Niekro fanned Foster and got Johnson on an inning-ending foul pop-up to Ashby. Walling singled to begin the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Davis advanced Walling to second and Ashby drew a walk. Pinch-hitter Jerry Mumphrey flied out to Foster. Darling then got Doran to hit a force play grounder to shortstop Santana for the inning’s final out.

Houston reliever Frank DiPino set down the Mets in order in the top of the eighth. Darling pitched a scoreless bottom half and DiPino retired the side 1-2-3 again in the top of the ninth. Walling grounded out to Backman to lead off the bottom of the inning. Darling got Davis on a grounder back to the mound. Ashby hit a home run to tie the game. Harry Spilman (pinch-hitting for DiPino) drew a walk. Darling then retired Doran on a pop-up to Backman that sent the game into extra innings.

Astros’ reliever Ron Mathis issued a walk to Strawberry to open the top of the 10th. Darryl was caught stealing on a throw by Ashby to Doran. Foster went down on strikes and Johnson hit a double. Santana followed with a single to score Johnson and put the Mets ahead by a run. Pinch-hitter Rusty Staub was given an intentional walk. Mathis then retired Dykstra on a fly ball to right fielder Bass (who had shifted from center) for the third out of the inning.

To begin the bottom of the 10th, Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell got Reynolds to ground out to first baseman Hernandez. Chris Jones followed with a line drive to Keith for the inning’s second out. McDowell then retired Jose Cruz on a ground ball to Backman to end the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory.