June 20, 1982: Mets Beat Cardinals in 10

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Date: June 20, 1982
Mets starter: Charlie Puleo
Mets: 5
Cardinals: 4
Winning pitcher: Mike Scott
Key player(s): Ellis Valentine, Keith Hernandez, John Stearns
Key play: Valentine’s home run, Hernandez’s home run, Stearns’ triple

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets defeated the Redbirds for the third time in the series with a 5-4 win in 10 innings.

Charlie Puleo and the Cards’ Joaquin Andujar each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Leading off the top of the fourth, Bob Bailor reached second base on an error by right fielder George Hendrick. George Foster grounded out to second baseman Mike Ramsey to advance Bailor to third. Dave Kingman went down on strikes and Ellis Valentine homered for a 2-0 Mets lead. Andujar then retired John Stearns on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Ozzie Smith.

Puleo struck out Dane Iorg and Hendrick to begin the bottom of the fourth. Darrell Porter drew a walk and moved to second base on a single by Ken Oberkfell. Ramsey singled to drive home Porter for the first St. Louis run. Smith drew a walk that loaded the bases. Andujar hit a single to score Oberkfell with the tying run. On the play, Ramsey was out at home via a throw by second baseman Bailor to catcher Ron Hodges to end the inning.

From the fifth inning to the eighth, Puleo and Andujar each pitched scoreless ball. Stearns doubled to open the top of the ninth. A sacrifice bunt by Hodges moved Stearns to third base and pinch-hitter Rusty Staub was walked intentionally. A walk to pinch-hitter Mike Jorgensen loaded the bases and Jim Kaat replaced Andujar on the mound for the Cardinals. Mookie Wilson singled to plate Stearns and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Pinch-runner Wally Backman also tried to score on the hit, but was out on a throw by left fielder Lonnie Smith to catcher Porter. Redbirds’ reliever Doug Bair then got Bailor on a ground ball back to the mound for the final out of the inning.

Mets’ reliever Mike Scott retired Porter and Oberkfell on grounders to Backman (who stayed in the game to play second base) to start the bottom of the ninth. With the Cards down to their final out, Keith Hernandez came in to pinch-hit for Ramsey. Hernandez hit a home run that tied the game. Ozzie Smith followed with a single to right field. With Orlando Sanchez at the plate as a pinch-hitter for Bair, Scott caught Ozzie Smith with a pickoff throw to first baseman Jorgensen to close out the inning.

Foster got an infield single against St. Louis reliever Bruce Sutter to start the top of the 10th. Pinch-hitter Joel Youngblood reached on a fielder’s choice bunt that advanced pinch-runner Rusty Tillman to second base. Sutter threw a called third strike past Valentine for the first out of the inning. Stearns hit a triple to drive home Tillman and Youngblood, giving the Mets a 5-3 lead. Hodges was issued an intentional walk. Sutter then got Backman on a grounder to Ozzie Smith for an inning-ending double play.

Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco retired Julio Gonzalez on a grounder to third baseman Stearns to begin the bottom of the 10th inning. Lonnie Smith hit a double and moved to third base on an error by center fielder Wilson. A sacrifice fly by Willie McGee scored Lonnie Smith with the Cardinals’ fourth run. Pinch-hitter Gene Tenace drew a walk. Ed Lynch then came in to pitch for New York and got Hendrick to line out to shortstop Bailor (who had shifted from second base) and end the game. The Mets had a victory to go four games above the .500 mark (34-30) on the season.