June 24, 1967: Seventeen Hits Rout Braves

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Date: June 24, 1967
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 9
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Larry Stahl, Ed Kranepool, Jerry Grote
Key play: Mets’ five runs in 3rd

The Mets faced the Braves in a doubleheader on a Saturday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and forty-seven-minute opener of the twinbill at Atlanta Stadium. The Mets pounded out seventeen hits in a 9-1 win.

Braves’ starter Bob Bruce held the Mets to a single by Cleon Jones in the top of the first inning. With one out in the bottom half, Tito Francona homered for a 1-0 Braves lead. Mets’ starter Tom Seaver retired Hank Aaron on a fly ball to right fielder Cleon Jones and got Mack Jones on a grounder to second baseman Jerry Buchek for the third out. Bruce pitched a perfect top of the second and Clete Boyer hit a leadoff single in the bottom half. With Denis Menke at bat, Boyer was caught stealing on catcher Jerry Grote’s throw to Buchek. Menke was retired on a pop-up to Buchek. Seaver then got Woody Woodward to ground out to Buchek and end the inning.

Seaver reached second base on an error by first baseman Francona with one out in the top of the third. Bud Harrelson singled and Cleon Jones hit a single to drive home Seaver. A single by Larry Stahl plated Harrelson and put the Mets ahead by a run. Tommy Davis went down on strikes and Ed Kranepool doubled to score Cleon Jones. Bruce was replaced on the mound by Braves’ reliever Jay Ritchie, who threw a wild pitch that scored Stahl and moved Kranepool to third. Ed Charles followed with a single to bring home Kranepool and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-1. With Buchek at the plate, Charles was caught stealing on a throw by catcher Bob Uecker to second baseman Woodward for the inning’s final out. Seaver then held the Braves to a single by Felipe Alou in the bottom half.

Buchek and Grote got back-to-back singles against Ritchie to begin the top of the fourth inning. Seaver reached on Uecker’s error to load the bases. Harrelson hit a sacrifice fly against Atlanta’s Dick Kelley to drive home Buchek with the Mets’ sixth run of the game. Cleon Jones hit a force play grounder to Woodward and stole second base. Kelley retired Stahl on an inning-ending ground ball to Woodward. Seaver then set down the Braves in order in the bottom half.

Charles got a two-out single in the top of the fifth. Ed advanced to second base on Uecker’s passed ball and Buchek was struck out to end the inning. Seaver hurled a perfect bottom half and Grote singled to open the top of the sixth. Seaver’s sacrifice bunt moved Grote to second and a line drive by Harrelson was caught by left fielder Alou. Kelley issued an intentional walk to Cleon Jones and a double by Stahl brought home Grote. On the play, Cleon got caught in a rundown and was tagged by third baseman Boyer for the final out of the inning. Seaver then yielded only a double to pinch-hitter Charlie Lau in the bottom half.

Atlanta reliever Clay Carroll gave up just an infield single to Kranepool in the top of the seventh. Seaver pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning and Grote singled to begin the top of the eighth. Seaver grounded out to first baseman Rico Carty to move Grote to second. Carroll retired both Harrelson and Cleon Jones on grounders to shortstop Marty Martinez to finish off the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Carty walked and Alou followed with a single to center field. Pinch-hitter Gary Geiger hit a force play ground ball to first baseman Kranepool. Seaver then got Aaron on a fly ball to Cleon Jones for the third out of the inning.

With one out in the top of the ninth, Davis slugged a home run against Braves’ reliever Ramon Hernandez to extend the Mets’ lead to 8-1. Kranepool singled and Charles fouled out to Uecker. Buchek hit a single and Grote singled (the Mets’ seventeenth hit) to drive home Kranepool with the ninth New York run. Hernandez fanned Seaver to close out the inning and Mack Jones flied out to left fielder Davis to open the bottom half. Mike de la Hoz was retired on a line drive to Cleon Jones. Seaver then got Martinez to ground out to third baseman Charles and end the game. The Mets had a solid victory to start the doubleheader.