July 3, 1984: Keith's Homer Beats Ryan

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Date: July 3, 1984
Mets starter: Bruce Berenyi
Mets: 4
Astros: 3
Winning pitcher: Bruce Berenyi
Key player(s): Keith Hernandez, George Foster
Key play: Hernandez's home run

The Mets played the Astros at Shea Stadium on a Tuesday night. Bruce Berenyi took the mound to face Nolan Ryan. A sixth-inning home run by Keith Hernandez overtook a Houston lead to give the Mets an eventual 4-3 win.

Ryan recorded seven strikeouts and retired ten straight batters in the first four innings. Nolan also kept the Mets hitless, allowing only a walk to Hernandez. Meanwhile, the Astros got a run on Harry Spilman's fourth-inning single off Berenyi that scored Jose Cruz.

In the fifth, the Mets tied the game on George Foster's leadoff home run. Ryan rebounded with his eighth strikeout (fanning Hubie Brooks) in setting down the Mets. Houston then took a 3-1 lead on Spilman's two-run homer in the top of the sixth.

Wally Backman singled to start the bottom of the sixth for New York. After moving to second base on Ryan's wild pitch, Backman scored on a single by Danny Heep. Hernandez followed with a two-run homer to put the Mets ahead. Ryan was then replaced by Astros' reliever Bill Dawley.

For the Mets, Tom Gorman pitched a perfect seventh inning. Jesse Orosco succeeded Gorman with more hitless relief. Jesse shut down the Astros, striking out Ray Knight and Kevin Bass to end the game. The Mets had a victory to keep them in first place in the National League East, three percentage points ahead of the Chicago Cubs.

Notes

  • This was Ryan's third loss at Shea Stadium as a visiting pitcher, but only his first to the Mets. Nolan had lost to the Yankees in 1974 and 1975, when the Yanks played their home games at Shea.