July 6, 1968: Linz and Jones Combine for Nine Hits

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Date: July 6, 1968
Mets starter: Al Jackson
Mets: 11
Phillies: 6
Winning pitcher: Al Jackson
Key player(s): Phil Linz, Cleon Jones, Al Jackson
Key play: Linz’s five hits, Jones’ four hits

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. The teams played the second game of four in a weekend series at Connie Mack Stadium. Phil Linz and Cleon Jones combined for nine hits and six runs batted in to lead the Mets to an 11-6 win.

Linz began the game with a single off Phils’ starter Woodie Fryman. Jones followed with a single and Fryman set down the next two batters. Jerry Grote drew a walk to load the bases. Fryman struck out Greg Goossen to end the inning without a run. The Phillies then grabbed a 2-0 lead on a double by Don Lock that scored Tony Gonzalez and Dick Allen against Mets’ starter Al Jackson in the bottom of the first.

In the top of the second inning, Jackson got a two-out single off Fryman. Linz hit an ensuing double to drive home Al from first base. Jones singled to plate Linz and tie the game at 2-2. Ron Swoboda hit a ground ball to shortstop Roberto Pena for an inning-ending force out on Jones. The Phils were then retired in order by Jackson in the bottom half.

Ed Charles opened the top of the third with a single to left field. Grote also singled to left and Goossen hit a single to right field to load the bases. For Philadelphia, Fryman was replaced on the mound by reliever Gary Wagner. Art Shamsky (pinch-hitting for Tommie Agee) delivered a sacrifice fly to score Charles and put the Mets ahead. A single by Al Weis reloaded the bases for the Mets. Wagner got Jackson to hit a grounder to second baseman Cookie Rojas for a double play. Al then pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning.

In the fourth, Wagner and Jackson each retired the side 1-2-3. Charles was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the fifth. Grote’s single advanced pinch-runner Kevin Collins to second base and Goossen’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Shamsky was given an intentional walk to load the bases. Collins scored on Weis’s force play grounder to Pena and a single by Jackson brought home Grote from third. Linz followed with a single that plated Weis for a 6-2 Mets lead. Philadelphia reliever Dick Hall then struck out Jones to end the inning.

The Phillies failed to score against Jackson in the bottom of the fifth. Swoboda singled off the Phils’ Paul Brown to begin the top of the sixth. Brown retired the next three Met batters and Jackson struck out Johnny Briggs after a pair of two-out singles to end the bottom of the inning. The Mets were set down in order by Brown in the top of the seventh. For the Phillies, Gary Sutherland singled with one out in the bottom half. Jackson then got pinch-hitter Rick Joseph on a ground ball to third baseman Collins for a double play that ended the inning.

Linz singled off Phils’ reliever Turk Farrell to start the top of the eighth. Jones singled to advance Linz to third base. Phil scored and Cleon went all the way to third on Farrell’s wild pitch. Swoboda was retired on a ground ball back to the mound. Collins hit a fly ball to center fielder Gonzalez after which Jones scored to extend the Mets’ lead to 8-2. Grote then flied out to Gonzalez to close out the inning.

Pena singled and Gonzalez doubled to open the bottom of the eighth. For the Mets, Ron Taylor came in to pitch and retired Allen on a grounder back to the mound. A single by Lock brought home Pena and Gonzalez. Tony Taylor singled and Lock scored on Briggs’ ground out to second baseman Linz. Singles by Mike Ryan and Sutherland plated another Philadelphia run to make the score 8-6. Mets’ reliever Bill Short then got pinch-hitter Johnny Callison on a ground ball to first baseman Goossen for the third out of the inning.

Shamsky hit a double off the Phillies’ Jeff James with one out in the top of the ninth. Weis drew a walk and pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool flied out to left fielder Allen. Linz singled for his fifth hit of the game to score pinch-runner Don Bosch. Jones followed with a double for his fourth hit to bring home Weis and Linz. James then retired Swoboda on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Lock.

Mets’ reliever Cal Koonce set down the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning. Allen kept the game alive by drawing a walk. With Lock at bat, Allen was thrown out at second base by catcher Grote on a steal attempt to end the game. The Mets had a victory that was led by the solid hitting of Linz and Jones.