June 22, 1980: Washington Hits 3 Home Runs

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Date: June 22, 1980
Mets starter: John Pacella
Mets: 9
Dodgers: 6
Winning pitcher: Mark Bomback
Key player(s): Claudell Washington
Key play: Washington's three homers, Moreno's triple

The Mets and Dodgers concluded a three-game series in Los Angeles on a Sunday afternoon. The game was a 9-6 victory for the Mets. Claudell Washington, acquired from the White Sox 15 days earlier, hit his first three home runs as a member of the Mets.

The Mets scored in the top of the first against Los Angeles starter Dave Goltz. Elliott Maddox hit a double with one out and Washington came to the plate. Claudell hit a home run to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

The Dodgers tied the game with two runs off John Pacella in the bottom of the second. Dusty Baker scored on a force play grounder and Rudy Law singled to bring home Ron Cey. Mets' reliever Mark Bomback then gave up a single to Dave Lopes on which Goltz was thrown out at home by center fielder Joel Youngblood.

Steve Henderson singled off Goltz to start the fourth inning for the Mets. Goltz balked Henderson to second and John Stearns walked. Jose Moreno then hit a triple to score Henderson and Stearns to put the Mets back on top. A sacrifice fly by Doug Flynn brought home Moreno to make it a 5-2 Met lead.

The Dodgers got an unearned run off Bomback in the bottom half of the fourth. In the fifth, Washington hit his second homer off Goltz after Maddox's bunt single. Henderson followed with a triple and Mike Jorgensen was given an intentional walk. Stearns' force play grounder against reliever Joe Beckwith brought home Henderson to make the score 8-3 in favor of the Mets.

Washington hit his third homer of the game off the Dodgers' Charlie Hough with one out in the top of the seventh. Los Angeles scored three runs off Ed Glynn in the bottom half. Neil Allen then retired the last two Dodger batters of the inning.

Allen earned his 11th save of the season after pitching scoreless eighth and ninth innings. The Mets had a win after seven straight losses on their West Coast trip. The slugging of Washington proved valuable in ending the skid.

Notes

  • Washington became the third Met to hit three homers in a game, joining Jim Hickman in 1965 and Dave Kingman in 1976.
  • Washington became the third major league player ever to have 3-homer games in both leagues. Only Babe Ruth and Johnny Mize had done this previously.