June 21, 1968: Selma and Jackson Stifle Dodgers

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Date: June 21, 1968
Mets starter: Dick Selma
Mets: 5
Dodgers: 1
Winning pitcher: Dick Selma
Key player(s): Dick Selma, Al Jackson, Ed Charles, Ron Swoboda
Key play: Charles’ double and single, Swoboda’s single

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 46,868 fans on hand. Dick Selma and Al Jackson provided solid pitching in a 5-1 Mets win over Los Angeles.

Selma and the Dodgers’ Claude Osteen each hurled two scoreless innings to start the game. Bob Bailey drew a walk with one out in the top of the third. Osteen was called out on strikes and Willie Davis singled to send Bailey to third base. Selma retired Paul Popovich on a fly ball to center fielder Tommie Agee to end the inning and Bud Harrelson hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Phil Linz singled and Cleon Jones followed with a force play ground ball to shortstop Popovich. Ed Charles doubled to drive home Harrelson and Jones for a 2-0 Mets lead. Osteen then got Jerry Grote to foul out to first baseman Wes Parker and finish off the inning.

Selma and Osteen each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. Leading off the top of the seventh, Ron Fairly homered for the Dodgers’ first run of the game. Jim Lefebvre hit a single and was out on left fielder Jerry Buchek’s throw to second baseman Linz. Parker grounded back to Selma and a single by Bailey ensued. Osteen was retired on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Harrelson and set down the Mets in order in the bottom half. Selma got Davis on a grounder to first baseman Art Shamsky to begin the top of the eighth. Popovich drew a walk and Jackson came in to pitch for the Mets. Al struck out pinch-hitter Ted Savage and retired Tom Haller on a fly ball to Agee that ended the inning.

Harrelson singled against Osteen with one out in the bottom of the eighth. With Linz at bat, Harrelson was caught stealing second base on catcher Haller’s throw to Popovich. Linz got a bunt single and advanced to third as Jones reached on an error by third baseman Bailey. Charles singled off Los Angeles reliever John Purdin to drive home Linz. Grote walked to load the bases and pinch-hitter Ron Swoboda came to bat against the Dodgers’ Jim Brewer. Swoboda hit a single that plated Jones and Charles with the Mets’ fourth and fifth runs. On the hit, Grote got caught in a rundown and was tagged by Bailey for the inning’s final out.

Jackson struck out pinch-hitter Ken Boyer to begin the top of the ninth. Lefebvre singled and Parker went down on strikes. Jackson then fanned Bailey to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.