July 27, 1985: Mets Win With 16 Unearned Runs

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Date: July 27, 1985
Mets starter: Sid Fernandez
Mets: 16
Astros: 4
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Ray Knight, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez
Key play: Knight’s home run, Carter’s two doubles, Astros’ errors

The Mets faced the Astros in a doubleheader on a Saturday at Shea Stadium. The teams played a three-hour and three-minute opener of the twinbill. All the Mets’ scoring came in the form of unearned runs in a 16-4 win over Houston.

After two scoreless innings, Mets’ starter Sid Fernandez shut down the Astros again in the top of the third. To begin the bottom half, Lenny Dykstra singled and advanced to second base on an error by first baseman Glenn Davis. Dykstra moved to third on Wally Backman’s ground out to shortstop Dickie Thon and came home on a single by Keith Hernandez. Houston starter Bob Knepper got Gary Carter to hit a ground ball to Thon for an inning-ending double play and Fernandez pitched a perfect top of the fourth. Knepper then set down the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning.

Fernandez retired the Astros 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Rafael Santana reached on an error by third baseman German Rivera to open the bottom half. Santana advanced to second base on Fernandez’s sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a double by Dykstra. An ensuing single by Backman moved Dykstra to third and Lenny scored on Hernandez’s sacrifice fly. Carter singled to send Backman to third and a wild pitch brought home Wally for a 4-0 Mets lead. Knepper then struck out George Foster to end the inning.

Fernandez and Houston reliever Bill Dawley each hurled a scoreless sixth. Jerry Mumphrey singled to lead off the top of the seventh. Davis drew a walk and Alan Ashby hit a grounder to shortstop Santana for a double play on which Mumphrey advanced to third base. Thon singled to drive home Mumphrey for the Astros’ first run. Pinch-hitter Phil Garner hit a single against the Mets’ Roger McDowell to send Thon to third. Bill Doran followed with a three-run homer to tie the game at 4-4. McDowell then issued a walk to Rivera and retired Kevin Bass on a fly ball to right fielder Tom Paciorek to close out the inning.

Pinch-hitter Howard Johnson drew a walk against Houston’s Frank DiPino to open the bottom of the seventh. Dykstra reached on a two-base error by Davis and a strikeout of Backman ensued. Hernandez reached on a fielder’s choice ground ball that drove home Johnson. Carter doubled to score Dykstra and Hernandez and advanced to third on a throw. Foster drew a walk and Ray Knight hit a three-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 10-4. Mike Madden then came in to pitch for the Astros and completed the inning with no further scoring.

Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco set down all three Houston batters in the top of the eighth. Dykstra reached on an error by Thon to lead off the bottom of the inning. Backman hit a single and Hernandez flied out to center fielder Bass. Carter doubled to drive home Dykstra and send Backman to third base. Foster reached on an error by third baseman Garner that allowed Backman to score. Knight hit a double to bring home Carter for a 13-4 Mets lead. An ensuing double by Paciorek plated Foster and Knight. Santana hit a single to drive home Paciorek for the Mets’ sixteenth (unearned) run of the game. On his own hit, Santana got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by Thon. Madden then retired Orosco on a ground ball to second baseman Doran for the final out of the inning.

Ashby singled to open the top of the ninth. Thon flied out to Paciorek and a single by Garner followed. Orosco then struck out both Doran and pinch-hitter Mark Bailey to finish off the game. The Mets had a decisive victory comprised exclusively of unearned runs.

Notes