July 20, 1975: Kingman's Homer Beats Astros
|Date: July 20, 1975|
|Mets starter: Randy Tate|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Hall|
|Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Jack Heidemann|
|Key play: Kingman's homers, Heidemann's triple, Clines' & Alou's throws|
The Mets and Astros played on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Houston built up a big lead, but the Mets quickly came back in a high-scoring game. In the end, it was the Mets that came out with the win, 10-9, as Dave Kingman hit two homers drove in six runs.
In the top of the first inning, the Astros scored twice against Mets' starter Randy Tate. Wilbur Howard led off with a walk and eventually came home on a ground out by Greg Gross. Cesar Cedeno followed with a double and was driven home by Lee May's single. The Mets got a run in the bottom half when Gene Clines scored on Kingman's ground out.
Houston's Dave Roberts grounded out to start the top of the fifth inning. The Astros then strung together four straight singles off Tate, the last of which came from Bob Watson to score two runs. Doug Rader also got a two-run single and Roger Metzger added another single off reliever Ken Sanders to score Ken Boswell for a 7-1 Astros lead. On Metzger's hit, Rader tried to score from second base, but was thrown out at home by center fielder Clines.
In the bottom of the fifth, Clines was at first base with two out when Joe Torre singled off Roberts. Kingman followed with a home run to trim the Mets' deficit by three runs. Rusty Staub then singled and Jerry Grote walked before Jack Heidemann tripled to score both of them. The Mets had answered Houston's five-run inning with five runs of their own to make it a 7-6 game.
The Astros loaded the bases against reliever Hank Webb in the top of the sixth. Watson then got his second two-run single of the game, scoring Howard and Gross. Tom Hall came in to pitch and struck out May before getting Tommy Helms on a fly ball to end the inning. In the seventh, Metzger was thrown out at home by left fielder Jesus Alou when trying to score on Gross's single.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Alou hit a double with one out. Clines lined out to second baseman Helms and Felix Millan doubled to bring home Alou. Roberts was relieved by Wayne Granger, off whom Torre singled to score Millan and cut the Houston lead to 9-8. Kingman then hit his second home run of the game to give the Mets a one-run lead.
Rader singled off Mets' reliever Harry Parker with one out in the ninth. Parker then got Metzger to foul out to catcher Grote and struck out pinch-hitter Cliff Johnson to end the game. The Mets had an amazing come-from-behind victory.