June 15, 1986: Mets Complete Sweep of Pirates

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Date: June 15, 1986
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 8
Pirates: 5
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Ed Hearn, Mookie Wilson, Gary Carter
Key play: Wilson’s two-run homer, Hearn’s three-run homer

The Mets faced the Pirates in a doubleheader on Father’s Day afternoon. After winning the opener, the Mets collected 14 hits in the nightcap at Shea Stadium. The team came away with an 8-5 triumph over Pittsburgh for a sweep of the twinbill.

Rick Aguilera and Bucs’ starter Bob Kipper each pitched two scoreless innings to start the game. Both pitchers retired the side in order in the first and Gary Carter’s single was the only hit for either team in the second. Aguilera set down Pittsburgh 1-2-3 again in the third and fourth innings. The Mets scored three times against Kipper when Mookie Wilson hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third and Carter homered to lead off the latter half of the fourth.

In the top of the fifth inning, R. J. Reynolds led off with a single and went to third base on an ensuing single by Jim Morrison. Junior Ortiz also singled to score Reynolds. A sacrifice bunt by Sam Khalifa put Pirate runners on second and third with one out. Morrison came home on pinch-hitter Lee Mazzilli’s ground out to reduce the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Aguilera then retired Barry Bonds on a ground ball to first baseman Carter to end the inning.

Against Pirates’ reliever Cecilio Guante, Rafael Santana reached base on first baseman Sid Bream’s error to begin the bottom of the fifth. Aguilera’s sacrifice bunt advanced Santana to second base and Rafael moved to third on Wilson’s ground out to Bream. A single by Tim Teufel scored Santana with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Guante walked Kevin Mitchell and then retired Carter on a grounder to shortstop Bill Almon for the third out.

Joe Orsulak opened the top of the sixth inning with a single to right field. Aguilera and reliever Randy Niemann recorded ground outs on which Orsulak advanced to second and third, respectively. Niemann threw a wild pitch that allowed Orsulak to score. Reynolds followed with a single to put the tying run on base for Pittsburgh. Morrison then hit a ground ball to shortstop Santana for an inning-ending force play.

In the bottom of the sixth, George Foster got a leadoff double and went to third base on Ray Knight’s ensuing single. Ed Hearn hit a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 7-3. Santana grounded out and back-to-back singles by Niemann and Wilson followed. Teufel got the Mets’ sixth hit of the inning with a single to center field. Trying to score from second on Teufel’s hit, Niemann was out at home on a throw by Bonds. Guante then retired Mitchell on a ball hit to second baseman Khalifa to end the inning.

Ortiz and Khalifa singled to start the top of the seventh. A pinch-hit double by Mike Diaz brought home Ortiz. Niemann struck out Bonds and retired Orsulak on a ground ball to shortstop Santana. Khalifa scored the fifth Pittsburgh run on the out. Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell came in and got pinch-hitter Johnny Ray to ground out to Santana. The Mets were then shut down by Bucs’ reliever Don Robinson in the bottom of the inning.

McDowell retired the Pirates easily in the top of the eighth. The Mets loaded the bases with three singles to begin the bottom half. Wilson hit a grounder to second baseman Morrison on which Hearn was forced out at the plate. Teufel hit a sacrifice fly to score Santana with the eighth New York run. Robinson then got Mitchell to fly out to Bonds in center field and end the inning.

In the top of the ninth, McDowell retired Ortiz on a ground ball to second baseman Teufel. He followed up by getting pinch-hitter Tony Pena to ground out to Santana. McDowell then struck out Diaz to end the game. The Mets had a sweep of the Father’s day doubleheader. The win also completed a four-game series sweep of Pittsburgh.