July 15, 1982: Kingman and Wilson Club Dodgers

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Date: July 15, 1982
Mets starter: Charlie Puleo
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 2
Winning pitcher: Charlie Puleo
Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Kingman’s & Wilson’s home runs

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Thursday night in Los Angeles. The teams began a four-game series immediately following the All-Star Break. Home runs by Dave Kingman and Mookie Wilson propelled the Mets to a 5-2 win.

Dodgers’ starter Jerry Reuss pitched a perfect top of the first inning. For the Mets, Charlie Puleo shut down Los Angeles in the bottom half. Reuss retired the Mets in order in the top of the second and Ron Cey led off the bottom of the inning with a single to left field. Cey moved to second base on Steve Garvey’s ground out before Mike Marshall popped out to first baseman Kingman. A single by Mike Scioscia scored Cey for a 1-0 Dodgers lead. Puleo then struck out Reuss to end the inning.

After a scoreless third inning, George Foster singled with two outs in the top of the fourth. Kingman hit a two-run homer to put the Mets ahead. Reuss got Ellis Valentine on a ground ball back to the mound to end the inning. Puleo recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless bottom half. Reuss set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Dusty Baker drew a two-out walk, stole second base and moved to third on an error by second baseman Joel Youngblood. Puleo then retired Pedro Guerrero on a fly ball to center fielder Wilson for the third out.

Puleo singled to open the top of the sixth inning. Wilson followed with a home run to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-1. John Stearns doubled and moved to third on a passed ball by catcher Scioscia. Foster flied out to center fielder Guerrero to drive home Stearns. Reuss fanned Kingman and retired Valentine on an inning-ending grounder to shortstop Bill Russell. With one out in the bottom half, Garvey singled and Marshall drew a walk. Puleo then got Scioscia and pinch-hitter Rick Monday on fly balls to left fielder Foster for the final two outs of the inning.

Dodgers’ reliever Alejandro Pena hit Youngblood with a pitch and walked Wally Backman to start the top of the seventh. Terry Forster came in to pitch for Los Angeles and retired the next three Met batters. Steve Sax led off the bottom of the inning with a single and advanced to second on Youngblood’s second error of the game. Russell grounded out to move Sax to third and Baker drew a walk. Puleo got Guerrero on a foul pop-up to Kingman. Cey followed with a single that scored Sax. Mets’ reliever Terry Leach then got Garvey to hit into a force play that closed out the inning.

The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth. Forster retired Youngblood and Phil Mankowski to end the inning without a run. Leach set down the Dodgers in order in the bottom half. Los Angeles reliever Tom Niedenfuer retired the first two batters in the top of the ninth. Wilson followed with a double to center field. Niedenfuer then struck out Stearns to end the inning.

Leach struck out Sax to start the bottom of the ninth. Russell flied out to Foster and a single by Baker kept the Dodgers’ chances alive. Leach then got Guerrero to ground out to third baseman Mankowski and end the game. The Mets had a victory to start their west coast trip.