June 13, 1986: Strawberry's Single Beats Pirates

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Date: June 13, 1986
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 6
Pirates: 5
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Keith Hernandez, Mookie Wilson, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Hernandez’s home run, Strawberry’s single

The Mets was Pirates began a four-game series on a Friday night. A crowd of 37,582 was on hand at Shea Stadium for the event. After squandering a lead in the ninth inning, the Mets came up with a 6-5 win on Darryl Strawberry’s run-scoring single in the bottom half.

After a scoreless first, the Pirates loaded the bases with one out against Mets’ starter Dwight Gooden in the top of the second inning. Gooden threw a wild pitch that allowed Tony Pena to score from third base. Dwight struck out Rick Reuschel and issued walks to Barry Bonds and Joe Orsulak to force home Jim Morrison with the second Pittsburgh run. Gooden got Johnny Ray on a fly ball to center fielder Mookie Wilson for the third out. The Mets then scored against Bucs’ starter Reuschel when Gary Carter came home on Rafael Santana’s ground out in the bottom of the inning.

Leading off the top of the third, Sid Bream hit a home run to increase the Pirates’ lead to 3-1. Gooden got called third strikes on each of the next three batters. Wilson homered to begin the bottom of the inning and Wally Backman got a bunt single before a walk to Keith Hernandez. After Strawberry’s force play grounder, Backman scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Reuschel completed the inning with no further scoring and neither team got a run in the fourth.

Gooden fanned Bream for his ninth strikeout to end a scoreless top of the fifth inning. Backman got a one-out single in the bottom half. Hernandez followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead, 5-3. Reuschel struck out Strawberry and Carter to end the inning and Dwight recorded two more Ks in a perfect top of the sixth. Reuschel then set down the Mets in order in the bottom of the inning.

In shutting down Pittsburgh in the top of the seventh, Gooden fanned Lee Mazzilli and Ray to raise his strikeout total to thirteen. Bucs’ reliever Larry McWilliams pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning. Dwight set down the Pirates despite an error by third baseman Ray Knight in the top of the eighth. The Mets then failed to score after loading the bases in the bottom half.

Rafael Belliard singled off Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco to begin the top of the ninth inning. Orosco walked Mazzilli and pinch-hitter Mike Diaz to load the bases with none out. Bill Almon followed with a sacrifice fly to center fielder Lenny Dykstra to bring home Belliard. Ray drew a walk to reload the bases and Bream hit a sacrifice fly to left fielder Wilson (who had shifted from center) that scored Mazzilli to tie the game. Orosco then struck out R. J. Reynolds to end the inning.

Wilson got a one-out single off the Bucs’ Pat Clements in the bottom of the ninth. Mookie moved to second on Backman’s ground out and Hernandez was walked intentionally. Strawberry followed with a single to right field, scoring Wilson to end the game. The Mets had their 40th victory of the season to start the weekend series.