June 22, 1971: Williams Leads Mets Past Bucs

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Date: June 22, 1971
Mets starter: Charlie Williams
Mets: 3
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Charlie Williams
Key player(s): Charlie Williams, Cleon Jones, Jerry Grote
Key play: Jones’ and Grote’s RBI singles

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Charlie Williams held the Bucs scoreless for eight innings in an eventual 3-2 Mets win.

Williams and the Pirates’ Jim Nelson each started the game with two scoreless and hitless innings pitched. Charlie drew a walk against Nelson with one out in the top of the third. Bud Harrelson singled and Mike Jorgensen flied out to center fielder Al Oliver. Cleon Jones hit a single to drive home Williams for a 1-0 Mets lead. Ed Kranepool walked to load the bases and Pittsburgh reliever Bob Moose retired Ken Singleton on a ground ball to second baseman Dave Cash to end the inning. Williams then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Ken Boswell drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth. Boswell advanced to third base on Bob Aspromonte’s single and came home as Jerry Grote grounded to shortstop Jackie Hernandez for a double play. Williams went down on strikes to close out the inning and yielded only a single to Roberto Clemente in the bottom half. Jones and Kranepool got back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the fifth. Moose got Singleton on an inning-ending grounder to first baseman Vic Davalillo. Williams then gave up just a single to Richie Hebner in the bottom half.

Moose held the Mets to a single by Boswell in the top of the sixth. Williams hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and singled to open the top of the seventh. Harrelson hit a force play ground ball to catcher Manny Sanguillen and stole second base. Jorgensen flied out to Oliver and a walk to Jones ensued. Moose retired Kranepool on a fly ball to left fielder Willie Stargell to close out the inning and a double by Clemente began the bottom half. Stargell was retired on a pop-up to shortstop Harrelson. Williams then got Oliver to ground out to second baseman Boswell and retired Hebner on a foul pop-up to Harrelson to finish off the inning.

Singleton hit a single to lead off the top of the eighth. Boswell grounded out to Cash and an intentional walk to Aspromonte followed. Grote singled to drive home Singleton and increase the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Moose got Williams on a force play ground ball back to the mound and retired Harrelson on a fly ball to right fielder Clemente to end the inning. Williams then set down the Bucs 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

The Mets had the bases loaded with two outs against Pirates’ reliever Bob Veale in the top of the ninth. Pittsburgh’s Dave Giusti got Tim Foli to hit a force play grounder to shortstop Cash (who had shifted from second) for the inning’s third out and Clemente got a two-out single against Williams in the bottom half. Stargell doubled to bring home Clemente and scored the Bucs’ second run on a single by Oliver. Mets’ reliever Danny Frisella then retired Hebner on a fly ball to right fielder Singleton to end the game. The Mets had come away with a victory.