June 15, 1977: Boisclair and Milner Lead Mets Past Braves

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Date: June 15, 1977
Mets starter: Jon Matlack
Mets: 6
Braves: 5
Winning pitcher: Bob Apodaca
Key player(s): Bruce Boisclair, John Milner, John Stearns
Key play: Boisclair’s home run, Milner’s single and triple, Stearns’ RBI groundout

The Mets faced the Braves on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. On the day that Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman were traded away, the teams concluded a three-game series. Bruce Boisclair and John Milner combined to drive in five runs in a 6-5 Mets win.

Bud Harrelson singled against Braves’ starter Joey McLaughlin with one out in the top of the first inning. Harrelson advanced to second base on Boisclair’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Milner. Ed Kranepool hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Craig Robinson for the third out and the Mets’ Jon Matlack pitched a scoreless bottom half. McLaughlin yielded only a single to John Stearns in the top of the second. Matlack then retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning.

Lenny Randle hit a leadoff double in the top of the third. A sacrifice bunt by Harrelson moved Randle to third base and Boisclair homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. McLaughlin got Milner to pop out to third baseman Jerry Royster and retired Kranepool on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Rod Gilbreath. Matlack hurled a perfect bottom half and McLaughlin set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Jeff Burroughs slugged a homer for the first Atlanta run. Matlack then got Gary Matthews to fly out to right fielder Kranepool and finish off the inning.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Randle got a bunt single and moved to third base on a single by Harrelson. Boisclair was retired on a pop-up to Robinson. Against Braves’ reliever Don Collins, Milner hit a triple to bring home Randle and Harrelson for a 5-1 Mets lead. Collins got Kranepool on an inning-ending ground ball to Gilbreath and a single by Biff Pocoroba opened the bottom half. Gilbreath hit a double play grounder to third baseman Randle and a walk to Robinson ensued. Pinch-hitter Cito Gaston hit a two-run homer. Matlack then retired Barry Bonnell on a grounder to shortstop Harrelson to close out the inning.

Atlanta reliever Steve Kline pitched a perfect top of the sixth. Matlack retired the Braves in order in the bottom half and Kline held the Mets to a double by Randle in the top of the seventh. Matthews singled against Matlack to lead off the bottom of the inning. Pocoroba flied out to center fielder Lee Mazzilli and a single by Gilbreath followed. Pinch-hitter Rowland Office hit a single off Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca to drive home Matthews and send Gilbreath to third base. Pinch-hitter Darrel Chaney’s ground out to Harrelson scored Gilbreath and tied the game at 5-5. Apodaca then retired Bonnell on a grounder to second baseman Felix Millan for the inning’s final out.

Boisclair drew a walk against the Braves’ Buzz Capra to begin the top of the eighth inning. Milner flied out to center fielder Bonnell and a single by Kranepool advanced Boisclair to third base. Capra was replaced on the mound by Atlanta reliever Rick Camp, who retired Stearns on a ground ball to shortstop Chaney that drove home Boisclair and regained a one-run lead for the Mets. Mazzilli was given an intentional walk and Millan hit a force play grounder to Chaney for the third out of the inning. Apodaca set down the side in order in the bottom half. Camp then pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood got Matthews on a ground ball to Millan to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Pocoroba was retired on a pop-up to Harrelson. Lockwood then struck out Gilbreath to end the game. The Mets had a series-closing victory.