July 26, 1978: Eleven Hits Romp Reds

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Date: July 26, 1978
Mets starter: Nino Espinosa
Mets: 12
Reds: 3
Winning pitcher: Nino Espinosa
Key player(s): Joel Youngblood, Steve Henderson, Willie Montanez
Key play: Henderson’s two-run double, Youngblood’s triple and homer

The Mets faced the Reds on a Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets collected eleven hits in a 12-3 win over Cincinnati.

Mets’ starter Nino Espinosa pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Elliott Maddox drew a walk against the Reds’ Mike LaCoss to lead off the bottom half. Tim Foli followed with a single to left field. Steve Henderson doubled to drive home Maddox and Foli and advanced to third base on a throw to the plate. Willie Montanez grounded out to first baseman Dan Driessen to score Steve Henderson with the Mets’ third run. LaCoss then retired John Stearns and Joel Youngblood on consecutive outfield fly balls to end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Espinosa surrendered just a walk to Pete Rose in the top of the third. Steve Henderson got a two-out double in the bottom half. Montanez was given an intentional walk and Stearns singled to load the bases. Youngblood followed with a triple that plated Steve Henderson, Montanez and Stearns for a 6-0 Mets lead. LaCoss then got Lenny Randle to fly out to center fielder Ken Henderson and finish off the inning.

Ken Henderson drew a walk with one out in the top of the fourth. Johnny Bench hit a home run to reduce the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Mike Lum doubled and moved to third base after Dave Concepcion’s fly out to right fielder Maddox. Junior Kennedy walked and Espinosa retired LaCoss on an inning-ending fly ball to Maddox. LaCoss then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Rose hit a double to open the top of the fifth. Espinosa retired the next three Cincinnati batters and a walk to Foli began the bottom of the inning. Tim went to second base on a wild pitch and to third after Steve Henderson’s fly out to right fielder Ken Griffey. Montanez hit a ground ball on which Foli got caught between bases and was tagged out by third baseman Rose. Stearns doubled to score Montanez and a two-run homer by Youngblood extended the Mets’ lead to 9-2. LaCoss then fanned Randle for the inning’s third out.

After hurling a scoreless top of the sixth, Espinosa drew a walk against Reds’ reliever Manny Sarmiento with one out in the bottom half. Nino advanced to third base on Maddox’s double and came home on Foli’s sacrifice fly. Steve Henderson hit a single to score Maddox and increase the Mets’ lead to 11-2. Montanez doubled to bring home Steve Henderson with the twelfth New York run of the game. Sarmiento then got Stearns to fly out to Griffey and finish off the inning.

Espinosa yielded just a single to Griffey in the top of the seventh. Cincinnati reliever Doug Bair pitched a scoreless bottom half and Nino gave up only a single to Vic Correll in the top of the eighth. Bair held the Mets to a single by Foli in the bottom of the inning and Kennedy singled to lead off the top of the ninth. Ray Knight hit a single and pinch-hitter George Foster went down on strikes. Griffey drew a walk to load the bases and Espinosa was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Dwight Bernard. With Driessen at bat, Kennedy scored the Reds’ third run on catcher Ron Hodges’ passed ball. Driessen walked to reload the bases and Ken Henderson was struck out. Bernard then retired Correll on a foul pop-up to third baseman Randle to end the game. The Mets had an easy victory to close out the series.

Notes

  • Bench’s home run was the 300th of his career.
  • Rose’s double extended his National League record hitting streak to 39 games.