July 18, 1966: Elliot Powers Mets Past Astros
|Date: July 18, 1966|
|Mets starter: Bob Shaw|
|Winning pitcher: Bob Shaw|
|Key player(s): Larry Elliot, Ed Kranepool, Al Luplow|
|Key play: Mets’ four runs in 7th|
The Mets and Astros faced each other in a doubleheader on a Monday afternoon. After winning the opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the second game. Larry Elliot drove in four runs in a 6-3 Mets win over Houston.
To begin the top of the first inning, Lee Maye singled and advanced to second base on an error by right fielder Elliot. Sonny Jackson got a bunt single to move Maye to third and stole second. Jim Wynn was retired on a pop-up to shortstop Roy McMillan. A single by Rusty Staub drove home Maye and Jackson for a 2-0 Astros lead. On his own hit, Staub got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by first baseman Ed Kranepool. Mets’ starter Bob Shaw then got Felix Mantilla on a ground ball to McMillan that closed out the inning.
Kranepool hit a two-out double against Houston’s Bob Bruce in the bottom of the first. Ed moved to third base on catcher Bill Heath’s passed ball and came home on a single by Elliot. Bruce retired Ron Swoboda on a fly ball to center fielder Wynn for the third out and Chuck Harrison walked with two outs in the top of the second. Shaw issued a walk to Bruce and got Maye to hit a grounder back to the mound for the inning’s final out. Bruce then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.
Staub drew a walk with two outs in the top of the third inning. Mantilla singled and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third base. Heath was retired on an inning-ending ground ball to Kranepool, who got a two-out single in the bottom half. Elliot popped out to third baseman Bob Aspromonte to finish off the inning and Shaw pitched a perfect top of the fourth. To begin the bottom half, Swoboda was hit by a pitch. Ron moved to second base on Ed Bressoud’s ground out to Aspromonte and to third on a passed ball. Bruce then walked Jerry Grote and got McMillan to hit a double play grounder to second baseman Mantilla that ended the inning.
Maye doubled and moved to third base on catcher Grote’s error to open the top of the fifth. Jackson popped out to Kranepool and a walk to Wynn ensued. Staub grounded out to second baseman Chuck Hiller to score Maye with the Astros’ third run of the game. Mantilla went down on strikes to close out the inning and Bruce retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Shaw hurled a scoreless top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom half, Elliot homered to reduce the Houston lead to 3-2. Swoboda was retired on a ground ball to Aspromonte. Bruce then got Bressoud to ground out to shortstop Jackson and end the inning.
The Astros failed to score after loading the bases against Shaw in the top of the seventh. McMillan hit a one-out double off Bruce in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter John Stephenson was hit by a pitch and Houston reliever Claude Raymond retired Hiller on a fly ball to right fielder Staub. Al Luplow singled to bring home McMillan with the tying run. Kranepool hit a single that plated Stephenson and put the Mets, 4-3. Elliot followed with a double to score Luplow and Kranepool with the fifth and sixth New York runs of the game. Raymond then walked Swoboda and got Bressoud on a fly ball to left fielder Maye for the third out of the inning.
Mets’ reliever Jack Hamilton pitched a scoreless top of the eighth. Houston’s Ron Taylor hit Grote with a pitch to begin the bottom half. McMillan’s sacrifice bunt sent Grote to second base and Billy Murphy flied out to Staub. Grote advanced to third on Heath’s third passed ball of the game. Taylor then retired Hiller on a pop-up to first baseman Harrison to close out the inning.
Jackson grounded out to Kranepool to lead off the top of the ninth. Wynn flied out to center fielder Murphy. Hamilton then threw a called third strike past Staub to bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory and a doubleheader sweep for the second day in a row.