July 5, 1985: Aguilera Five-Hits Braves

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Date: July 5, 1985
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 6
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Rick Aguilera, Wally Backman, Lenny Dykstra
Key play: Backman’s home run, Aguilera’s double

The Mets faced the Braves on a Friday night in Atlanta. The teams played the second of four games in a weekend series. Rick Aguilera pitched a five-hitter and contributed a run-scoring double in a 6-1 Mets win.

Lenny Dykstra doubled against Braves’ starter Pascual Perez to lead off the top of the first inning. Wally Backman hit a two-run homer and Keith Hernandez followed with a single. Darryl Strawberry singled to advance Hernandez to third base and stole second. Danny Heep hit a sacrifice fly to score Hernandez for a 3-0 Mets lead. Perez retired Ray Knight and Clint Hurdle on consecutive infield ground balls to end the inning. Aguilera then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Rafael Santana hit a single against Perez to begin the top of the second. Santana moved to second base on Aguilera’s sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a single by Dykstra. Backman singled and Atlanta reliever Steve Shields struck out Hernandez. With Strawberry at the plate, a passed ball by catcher Rick Cerone advanced Dykstra to third and Backman to second. Strawberry drew a walk as Dykstra came home on a wild pitch for a 5-0 Mets lead. Shields retired Heep on an inning-ending fly ball to left fielder Terry Harper. Aguilera then shut down the Braves in the bottom half.

Hurdle drew a one-out walk in the top of the third inning. Santana flied out to right fielder Brad Komminsk and a double by Aguilera brought home Hurdle with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Rick went to third base on a wild pitch and Shields got Dykstra on a grounder to second baseman Paul Zuvella for the inning’s third out. Aguilera then retired all three Braves batters in the bottom half.

After a scoreless fourth, Shields set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Gerald Perry reached on an error by shortstop Santana with one out in the bottom of the inning. Perry moved to second base on catcher Hurdle’s passed ball and Cerone flied out to right fielder Strawberry. Zuvella singled to bring home Perry with the first Atlanta run. Pinch-hitter Chris Chambliss drew a walk and Aguilera struck out Komminsk to end the inning.

Braves’ reliever Jeff Dedmon pitched a scoreless top of the sixth. Rafael Ramirez singled to begin the bottom half. Dale Murphy hit a double play ground ball to third baseman Knight and a single by Harper ensued. Ken Oberkfell doubled and Perry popped out to second baseman Backman to finish off the inning. Dedmon hurled a scoreless top of the seventh. Aguilera then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Hurdle and Santana got back-to-back singles against Atlanta reliever Gene Garber with one out in the top of the eighth inning. Aguilera went down on strikes and Dykstra popped out to shortstop Ramirez to end the inning. Rick set down the Braves in order in the bottom half and Garber retired all three New York hitters in the top of the ninth. Harper singled for the Braves’ fifth hit to lead off the bottom of the inning. Oberkfell drew a walk and Perry followed with a ground ball to Backman for a double play. Aguilera then retired Cerone on a grounder to first baseman Hernandez for the final out of the game. The Mets had a solid victory.