June 17, 1973: Hodges' First Homer Beats Padres

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Date: June 17, 1973
Mets starter: George Stone
Mets: 3
Padres: 1
Winning pitcher: George Stone
Key player(s): Ron Hodges
Key play: Hodges' home run in 7th

The Mets faced the Padres on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. A crowd of 32,641 was on hand as the Mets aimed for a sweep of the three-game series. Ron Hodges hit his first major league home run to put the Mets ahead to stay in a 3-1 win over San Diego.

Mets' starter George Stone took the mound for the Mets in the Father's Day game. Singles by Gene Locklear and Jerry Morales were the only San Diego hits off Stone in six shutout innings. Meanwhile, the Mets got off to a 1-0 lead when John Milner reached on an error to drive home Felix Millan in the bottom of the first.

Nate Colbert and Cito Gaston started the top of the seventh with singles off Stone. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt and Colbert scored on Dave Roberts' ground out to tie the game for the Padres. Following an intentional walk, Stone retired Bill Greif on a ground ball to end the inning.

Hodges came to bat against Greif with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Playing in only his third game, Ron hit the ball over the right field fence for a home run to put the Mets in front, 2-1. Following Hodges' first major league clout, Stone and Don Hahn singled to remove Greif from the mound. Reliever Bob Miller then got Millan to hit into a double play for the final outs of the inning.

Ed Kranepool singled with two out in the bottom of the eighth. San Diego reliever Rich Troedson threw a wild pitch on which Kranepool moved to second base. Wayne Garrett followed with a single to left field to score Kranepool and increase the Mets' lead to two runs.

For the Mets in the ninth, Tug McGraw relieved Phil Hennigan with two runners on base and one out. Tug threw a wild pitch to advance the runners to second and third. McGraw then struck out pinch-hitter Ivan Murrell and got Locklear to fly out to end the game. The Mets had a three-game sweep.