July 17, 1975: Mets Come Back with Three Home Runs

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Date: July 17, 1975
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 4
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: Rick Baldwin
Key player(s): Rusty Staub, Dave Kingman, Joe Torre
Key play: Mets' home runs

The Mets faced the Braves on a Thursday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a series on the first day after the All-Star break. On the strength of three home runs, the Mets came from behind for a 4-3 win.

Jerry Koosman and Atlanta's Phil Niekro each pitched scoreless ball for the first three innings of the game. The Braves failed to score after loading the bases in the top of the first and the Mets did the same in the bottom of the third. Cito Gaston led off the top of the fourth with a home run to put Atlanta ahead, 1-0. Niekro shut down the Mets in the bottom of the inning.

Following a scoreless fifth, Earl Williams doubled to lead off the top of the sixth inning. Williams moved to third base on Koosman's wild pitch and came home on a double by Gaston. Later in the inning, Ken Sanders relieved Koosman with the bases loaded and one out. Niekro's sacrifice bunt scored Larvell Blanks for the Braves' third run of the game. Sanders then walked Ralph Garr intentionally and got Marty Perez on a fly ball to center fielder Del Unser to end the inning.

Ed Kranepool singled off Niekro to begin the bottom of the sixth. Rusty Staub hit a home run that cut the Atlanta lead to 3-2. Dave Kingman followed with another homer to tie the game. Mets' reliever Rick Baldwin pitched a perfect top of the seventh inning and Tom House replaced Niekro in a scoreless bottom half.

After Baldwin's second straight perfect inning, the Mets came to bat against House in the bottom of the eighth. Joe Torre led off with a home run to put the Mets ahead. House retired the next three batters and the Braves had two runners on base with one out in the top of the ninth. Baldwin got Darrell Evans to hit into a force play and Williams to fly out to Unser, ending the game. The Mets had a comeback victory with three home runs and solid relief pitching from Baldwin.