July 17, 1978: Lockwood Homers as Mets Gain Split

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Date: July 17, 1978
Mets starter: Tom Hausman
Mets: 7
Braves: 4
Winning pitcher: Tom Hausman
Key player(s): John Stearns, Tom Grieve, Skip Lockwood
Key play: Stearns’ home run, Grieve’s two-run single, Lockwood’s home run

The Mets and Braves faced each other in a doubleheader on a Monday night. After losing their fourth straight game in the opener, the Mets were in search of a split in the nightcap at Atlanta. Skip Lockwood pitched the final three innings for a save and hit a home run in a 7-4 Mets win.

The Braves’ Mickey Mahler and the Mets’ Tom Hausman each pitched a scoreless first inning. In the top of the second, John Stearns hit a leadoff home run for a 1-0 Mets lead. Mahler retired the next three batters and Jeff Burroughs singled to begin the bottom half. Hausman set down the next two Atlanta hitters on fly balls to center fielder Joel Youngblood. Glenn Hubbard hit a pop-up to first baseman Willie Montanez for the third out of the inning. Mahler and Hausman then pitched scoreless ball in the third.

Stearns singled with one out in the top of the fourth inning. An ensuing double by Montanez advanced Stearns to third base. Tom Grieve singled to score Stearns and Montanez. Later in the inning, Hausman hit a single with two outs to drive home Elliott Maddox for a 4-0 Mets lead. Atlanta reliever Eddie Solomon got Youngblood to hit into a force play for the third out. Hausman then shut down the Braves in the bottom half.

The Mets were retired in order by Solomon in the top of the fifth inning. To begin the bottom half, Biff Pocoroba singled and Dale Murphy homered for two Atlanta runs. Hausman set down the next three batters and Solomon pitched a scoreless top of the sixth. The Braves cut the Mets’ lead to 4-3 on Gary Matthews’ one-out single off reliever Dale Murray that plated Rod Gilbreath in the bottom of the inning. Murray then retired Burroughs and Pocoroba for the final two outs.

In the top of the seventh, Solomon issued a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Bruce Boisclair. Youngblood singled and Bobby Valentine flied out to center fielder Rowland Office. Boisclair came around to score from second after a single by Steve Henderson. Stearns singled to drive home Youngblood for the Mets’ sixth run. Braves’ reliever Craig Skok entered the game and got Montanez to hit into a double play that ended the inning. In the bottom half, Lockwood retired Murphy and Hubbard before yielding a solo home run to Darrel Chaney. Skip then retired pinch-hitter Joe Nolan on a grounder to Montanez for the third out.

Atlanta’s Dave Campbell pitched a perfect top of the eighth inning. Lockwood equaled the feat in the bottom half. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Lockwood homered for the Mets’ seventh run of the game. Campbell then walked Henderson and retired Stearns on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Hubbard.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Lockwood set down the Braves in order on three foul outs to Montanez. The Mets had a split of the twinbill to end their four-game skid. Skip earned his 11th save of the season and hit a home run to boot.

Notes

  • The win for Hausman was his first as a major leaguer