July 17, 1966: Arrigo Wins Own Game with Two Doubles

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Date: July 17, 1966
Mets starter: Gerry Arrigo
Mets: 4
Astros: 2
Winning pitcher: Gerry Arrigo
Key player(s): Gerry Arrigo
Key play: Arrigo’s two doubles

The Mets and Astros played a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. A crowd of 28,566 was on hand at Shea Stadium for the twinbill. In the opener, pitcher Gerry Arrigo helped his own cause with a pair of doubles to drive in three runs. The Mets defeated Houston, 4-2.

Jimmy Wynn singled off Arrigo to begin the top of the first inning. Wynn moved to second base on Sonny Jackson’s sacrifice bunt and stole third base. Felix Mantilla lined out to shortstop Roy McMillan and a passed ball by catcher John Stephenson allowed Wynn to score. Arrigo struck out Dave Nicholson to end the inning and the Mets were retied in order by Houston starter Larry Dierker in the bottom half.

Following a scoreless second, Wynn and Jackson got back-to-back singles with one out in the top of the third. Jackson stole second and Mantilla popped out to McMillan. Arrigo got Nicholson on a foul pop-up to first baseman Ed Kranepool for the third out. Dierker then shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

Chuck Harrison walked and went to second on Rusty Staub’s sacrifice bunt in the top of the fourth. A single by John Bateman brought home Harrison with the Astros’ second run. Arrigo gave up a single to Bob Aspromonte before recording two outs to end the inning. In the bottom half, Dierker kept the Mets scoreless with his fourth straight hitless inning.

Arrigo set down Houston 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. McMillan singled with two outs for the Mets’ first hit off Dierker in the bottom of the inning. Arrigo hit an ensuing double to score McMillan and cut the Astros’ lead to 2-1. Chuck Hiller hit a grounder to third baseman Aspromonte for the third out. Arrigo and Dierker then pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

In the top of the seventh, Dierker’s leadoff double and a pair of errors loaded the bases for Houston with none out. Arrigo followed up by getting Mantilla to fly out to left fielder Ron Swoboda. Gerry fanned Nicholson for the second out. He then got Harrison to hit a force play grounder to McMillan for the third out of the inning.

Ken Boyer singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Dierker retired the next two batters and issued a walk to McMillan. Arrigo followed with his second double of the game, scoring pinch-runner Billy Murphy and McMillan to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Later in the inning, Astros’ reliever Jim Owens came in and fanned Swoboda for the third out.

Arrigo walked Staub to begin the top of the eighth inning. Dennis Ribant came in to pitch and got Bateman to hit into a double play. Aspromonte grounded to third baseman Ed Bressoud for the third out. The Mets then scored on Kranepool’s single that drove home Bressoud in the bottom half.

Ribant retired Lee Maye on a fly ball to center fielder Murphy to start the top of the ninth. He struck out Wynn and got Jackson to hit a ground ball to first base. Dennis took the throw from Kranepool for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to open the doubleheader as Arrigo recorded the win with his own timely doubles.