June 15, 1966: Two Runs in 9th Beat Braves

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Date: June 15, 1966
Mets starter: Dennis Ribant
Mets: 5
Braves: 4
Winning pitcher: Bill Hepler
Key player(s): Ed Bressoud, Ken Boyer
Key play: Bressoud’s home run, Abernathy’s error, Boyer’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. The teams played the opener of a two-game series. The Mets scored twice in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win.

Braves’ starter Denny Lemaster pitched a scoreless top of the first. The Mets’ Dennis Ribant did the same in the bottom half and Ron Swoboda reached on third baseman Eddie Mathews’ error with one out in the top of the second. Ed Kranepool doubled and Ed Bressoud slugged a home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Ribant hit a single and Ron Hunt flied out to left fielder Rico Carty. Lemaster retired Al Luplow on a line drive to Carty to end the inning. Ribant then gave up only a single to Carty in the bottom half.

Atlanta reliever Arnold Umbach yielded just a single to Hawk Taylor in the top of the third. Ribant set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Umbach shut down the Mets in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom half, Mack Jones hit a single to right field. Mack Jones advanced to third base on Carty’s single and came home on Joe Torre’s ground out to first baseman Kranepool. Felix Millan grounded out to shortstop Bressoud to end the inning and Umbach surrendered only a walk to Cleon Jones in the top of the fifth. Ribant then limited the Braves to a single by pinch-hitter Mike de la Hoz in the bottom half.

Braves’ reliever Clay Carroll hurled a scoreless top of the sixth. Felipe Alou hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the inning. Mack Jones singled and was out on center fielder Cleon Jones’ throw to second baseman Hunt. Ribant set down Carty and Torre on outfield fly balls to finish off the inning and Carroll held the Mets to a single by Luplow in the top of the seventh. With one out in the bottom half, pinch-hitter Gary Geiger homered against Ribant to tie the game at 3-3. Against New York’s Bill Hepler, pinch-hitter Denis Menke reached on an error by Bressoud. Menke was caught stealing second base on catcher Taylor’s throw to Bressoud. Hepler then got Woody Woodward to line out to Bressoud and end the inning.

Atlanta reliever Billy O’Dell gave up only a single to Taylor in the top of the eighth. With one out in the bottom half, Alou connected for his second homer and a 4-3 Braves lead. Hepler retired Mack Jones and Carty on infield grounders for the inning’s final outs and Bressoud singled against O’Dell to open the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Billy Murphy hit a single and Hunt popped out to Braves’ reliever Ted Abernathy on a bunt attempt. With Luplow at the plate, Abernathy made an errant pickoff throw on which Murphy advanced to third base and Bressoud scored for a 4-4 tie. Luplow was given an intentional walk and Ken Boyer hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Murphy, putting the Mets in front by a run. With Cleon Jones at bat, Luplow was caught stealing on catcher Torre’s throw to second baseman Millan for the final out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Jack Hamilton retired Torre on a foul pop-up to Kranepool to begin the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Gene Oliver was struck out and pinch-hitter Frank Bolling singled. Menke drew a walk and Woodward walked to load the bases. Hamilton then got Hank Aaron to fly out to Cleon Jones and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory with a late comeback.