July 28, 1973: Milner's Slam Leads Rout of Expos

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Date: July 28, 1973
Mets starter: George Stone
Mets: 11
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: George Stone
Key player(s): John Milner, Bud Harrelson, Cleon Jones, George Stone
Key play: Milner’s grand slam, Harrelson’s RBI double, Jones’ two-run single

The Mets faced the Expos on a Saturday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. John Milner hit a grand slam to ignite a hitting attack that led to an 11-3 Mets win over Montreal.

Mets’ starter George Stone pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Wayne Garrett began the bottom half with a double to left field. Garrett moved to third base on a single by Felix Millan and scored on second baseman Ron Hunt’s error of Rusty Staub’s ground ball. Cleon Jones singled to load the bases. Milner followed with a grand slam to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Expos’ starter Mike Torrez retired the next three batters and Stone held Montreal to a single by Ken Singleton in the top of the second inning. Torrez issued three consecutive walks with two outs in the bottom half. Expos’ reliever Mickey Scott then struck out Milner to end the inning.

Hunt got a one-out double in the top of the third. An ensuing single by Mike Jorgensen scored Hunt for the first Montreal run. Ron Woods and Hal Breeden hit consecutive force play grounders to shortstop Bud Harrelson for the final outs of the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Ed Kranepool singled and advanced to second on Ron Hodges’ ground out to Hunt. Harrelson doubled to drive home Kranepool and came around to score on a single by Stone. Garrett drew a walk and Millan singled to load the bases. Staub was retired on a pop-up to third baseman Bob Bailey. Jones hit a single to plate Garrett and Millan, increasing the Mets’ lead to 9-1. Scott then threw a called third strike past Milner for the final out of the inning.

Following a scoreless fourth, Jorgensen hit a double with two outs in the top of the fifth. Woods singled to score Jorgensen and a fly ball by Breeden was caught by center fielder Jones to close out the inning. Expos’ reliever Pat Jarvis pitched a perfect bottom half and Stone set down all three Montreal batters in the top of the sixth. Milner singled with one out in the bottom of the inning and Kranepool reached on an error by second baseman Jim Cox. On the play, Milner scored and Kranepool moved to third on an error by catcher John Boccabella. Hodges grounded out to shortstop Pepe Frias and a single by Harrelson brought home Kranepool with the Mets’ eleventh run. Jarvis then got Stone on an inning-ending grounder to Frias.

Stone pitched scoreless ball in the seventh and eighth innings. Montreal reliever Bill Stoneman shut down the Mets in the bottom halves. With one out in the top of the ninth, Boccabella reached third base on an error by left fielder Milner. Frias’s ground out to Harrelson drove home Boccabella. Cox followed with a single to left field. Stone then retired pinch-hitter Ron Fairly on a grounder to first baseman Kranepool to end the game. The Mets had an easy victory with a solid hitting attack.