June 20, 1971: Five Singles in 9th Jolt Phils

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Date: June 20, 1971
Mets starter: Nolan Ryan
Mets: 7
Phillies: 6
Winning pitcher: Tug McGraw
Key player(s): Mike Jorgensen, Art Shamsky, Don Hahn, Duffy Dyer
Key play: Jorgensen’s and Shamsky’s home runs, Mets’ singles in 9th

The Mets faced the Phillies in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and thirty-six-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. In the ninth inning, the Mets collected five singles that produced three runs for a 7-6 win over Philadelphia.

With the bases loaded in the top of the first, Mets’ starter Nolan Ryan struck out three consecutive batters to end the inning. Bud Harrelson doubled against the Phils’ Barry Lersch to begin the bottom half. Mike Jorgensen followed with a home run for a 2-0 Mets lead. Art Shamsky drew a walk and Ed Kranepool flied out to right fielder Ron Stone. Ken Singleton walked and Ken Boswell hit a single on which Stone threw to catcher Tim McCarver for an out at home on Shamsky. Lersch then retired Jerry Grote on a foul pop-up to first baseman Deron Johnson for the inning’s third out.

Following a scoreless second, Ryan set down the Phillies in order in the top of the third. Jorgensen hit a single to open the bottom half. Shamsky homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Lersch retired the next three hitters on infield ground balls and Ryan surrendered just a pair of walks in the top of the fourth. Lersch pitched a perfect bottom of the inning and Nolan retired the Phils 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Lersch then set down the Mets on three straight grounders in the bottom half.

McCarver singled to open the top of the sixth. Willie Montanez slugged a two-run homer and Oscar Gamble followed with a home run to cut the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Stone was called out on strikes and Johnson grounded out to third baseman Tim Foli. John Vukovich hit a single and a walk to pinch-hitter Bobby Pfeil ensued. Denny Doyle singled to score Vukovich with the tying run and Larry Bowa drew a walk to load the bases. McCarver hit a single that plated Pfeil and Doyle for a 6-4 Philadelphia lead. Ryan walked Montanez intentionally to reload the bases and Mets’ reliever Ron Taylor retired Gamble on an inning-ending fly ball to center fielder Jorgensen. For the Phillies, reliever Billy Champion hurled a perfect bottom half.

Taylor held the Phils to a single by Stone in the top of the seventh. Grote singled against Champion to lead off the bottom of the inning. Foli went down on strikes and a single by Dave Marshall followed. Harrelson flied out to left fielder Gamble and Philadelphia reliever Joe Hoerner retired pinch-hitter Donn Clendenon on a pop-up to shortstop Bowa to close out the inning. Taylor gave up only a double to McCarver in the top of the eighth. Hoerner then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Foli and Marshall got back-to-back singles against the Phils’ Bucky Brandon to begin the bottom of the inning. Harrelson singled to load the bases and Don Hahn hit a single to score Foli. Pinch-hitter Duffy Dyer followed with the Mets’ fifth straight single to drive home Marshall and Harrelson with the tying and winning runs. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory to start the doubleheader.