June 2, 1977: Mazzilli and Millan Bury Expos

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Date: June 2, 1977
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 7
Expos: 4
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Felix Millan
Key play: Mazzilli’s home run and sacrifice fly, Millan’s RBI singles

The Mets faced the Expos on a Thursday night in Montreal. The teams played the second of two games at Olympic Stadium. Lee Mazzilli and Felix Millan combined for five RBIs in a 7-4 Mets win.

After a scoreless first inning, John Stearns drew a walk against Expos’ starter Dan Warthen to lead off the top of the second. Mazzilli followed with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Bud Harrelson walked and advanced to second base on Jerry Koosman’s sacrifice bunt. Warthen retired Lenny Randle and Millan on consecutive infield ground balls to end the inning and Tony Perez drew a walk to open the bottom half. Gary Carter hit a force play grounder to third baseman Randle and a fly ball by Larry Parrish was caught by center fielder Mazzilli. Warren Cromartie doubled to drive home Carter with the first Montreal run. Mets’ starter Koosman then struck out Andre Dawson to finish off the inning.

Warthen shut down the Mets in the top of the third. Koosman retired the side in order in the bottom half and Harrelson hit a one-out double in the top of the fourth. Bud stole third base and came home as Koosman reached on a fielder’s choice bunt. Jerry moved to second on a wild pitch and Randle grounded out to third baseman Parrish. Millan singled to score Koosman and extend the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Warthen fanned John Milner for the inning’s third out and Ellis Valentine homered to begin the bottom half. Koosman then retired the next three Expos hitters on outfield fly balls to close out the inning.

Dave Kingman drew a walk against Warthen to lead off the top of the fifth. Kingman stole second base and a walk to Mike Vail ensued. Stearns singled against Montreal reliever Bill Atkinson to drive home Kingman and send Vail to third. Mazzilli hit a sacrifice fly that scored Vail for a 6-2 Mets lead. Stearns went to second on a wild pitch and Harrelson flied out to left fielder Cromartie. Atkinson then got Koosman to ground out to Parrish and end the inning.

To begin the bottom of the fifth, Cromartie singled and advanced to third base on a double by Dawson. Pinch-hitter Jose Morales followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Cromartie. Dave Cash grounded out to Koosman and a walk to Chris Speier followed. Valentine fouled out to first baseman Milner to close out the inning and the Mets loaded the bases with one out against Expos’ reliever Jeff Terpko in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool grounded back to Montreal reliever Joe Kerrigan for an inning-ending double play. Koosman then yielded just a single to Parrish in the bottom half.

Kerrigan pitched a perfect top of the seventh. The Expos loaded the bases with one out against Koosman in the bottom of the inning. Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood got Valentine to hit a ground ball to second baseman Millan for a double play that ended the inning. Randle drew a one-out walk against Montreal’s Will McEnaney in the top of the eighth. Lenny stole second and came home on a single by Millan for a 7-3 Mets lead. Milner grounded out to first baseman Perez and an intentional walk to Kingman ensued. McEnaney retired Kranepool on a grounder to Perez for the inning’s final out. Lockwood then retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

McEnaney set down the Mets on three straight fly balls to Cromartie in the top of the ninth. Cromartie got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Dawson was called out on strikes and Sam Mejias singled. Cash fouled out to Milner and a single by Speier brought home Cromartie with the Expos’ fourth run. Lockwood then retired pinch-hitter Wayne Garrett on a pop-up to Milner to end the game. The Mets had a victory to conclude their first series ever at the Big O.