June 24, 1966: Mets Come Back to Beat Cubs

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Date: June 24, 1966
Mets starter: Bob Friend
Mets: 4
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Bob Friend
Key player(s): Jack Hamilton, Ken Boyer, Cleon Jones
Key play: Boyer's double, Jones' homer and RBI single

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Friday afternoon in Chicago. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. The Mets came from behind for a 4-2 win.

Ken Boyer and Cleon Jones got consecutive singles against Cubs' starter Ken Holtzman with two outs in the top of the first inning. Hawk Taylor flied out to center fielder Lee Thomas to end the inning and the Mets' Bob Friend pitched a scoreless bottom half. Holtzman yielded only a double to Billy Murphy in the top of the second and John Boccabella reached on third baseman Boyer's error to begin the bottom half. Ernie Banks reached on a two-base error by first baseman Taylor and a strikeout of Randy Hundley ensued. Don Kessinger singled to drive home Boccabella and Banks for a 2-0 Chicago lead. On his own hit, Kessinger was out via a relay throw from Boyer to second baseman Ron Hunt. Friend then retired Holtzman on a ground ball to shortstop Ed Bressoud to close out the inning.

After a scoreless third, Murphy got a two-out triple in the top of the fourth. Jerry Grote followed with a single to score Murphy and cut the Cubs' lead to 2-1. Friend went down on strikes for the inning's third out and hurled a scoreless bottom half. To begin the top of the fifth, Hunt singled and moved to second base on Bressoud's ground out to second baseman Glenn Beckert. Boyer doubled to score Hunt with the tying run and Jones grounded out to shortstop Kessinger. Taylor drew a walk and Holtzman retired Ron Swoboda on an inning-ending fly ball to Thomas. Friend then shut down the Cubs in the bottom half.

Holtzman surrendered only a walk to Grote in the top of the sixth. Friend set down the side in order in the bottom of the inning and Jones slugged a solo homer with two outs in the top of the seventh, putting the Mets ahead by a run. Holtzman struck out Taylor to end the inning and pinch-hitter George Altman drew a one-out walk against Friend in the bottom half. Mets' reliever Jack Hamilton then got Beckert on a foul pop-up to catcher Grote and fanned Thomas to close out the inning.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Murphy drew a walk against Cubs' reliever Ferguson Jenkins. Murphy stole second base and Grote was struck out. Hamilton grounded out to Kessinger to end the inning and hurled a scoreless bottom half. Hunt hit a single to open the top of the ninth. With Bressoud at bat, Ron stole second and moved to third on an error by Kessinger. Jenkins fanned Bressoud and retired Boyer on a grounder back to the mound. Jones singled to bring home Hunt with the Mets' fourth run of the game. With Chicago's Bob Hendley on the mound facing Ed Kranepool, Jones was caught stealing second on catcher Hundley's throw to Kessinger for the final out of the inning.

Banks flied out to left fielder Swoboda to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Hundley hit a single and Kessinger lined out to Swoboda. Pinch-hitter Jimmy Stewart drew a walk and Hamilton got Beckert on a force play ground ball to Hunt that ended the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.