June 26, 1966: Late Scoring Gives Mets Split

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Date: June 26, 1966
Mets starter: Dennis Ribant
Mets: 8
Cubs: 2
Winning pitcher: Dennis Ribant
Key player(s): Ed Kranepool, Dennis Ribant, Johnny Lewis, Jerry Grote
Key play: Beckert's error, Mets' RBI singles

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon in Chicago. After dropping the opener of the twinbill at Wrigley Field, the Mets aimed for a split in the second game. The Mets scored seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings for an 8-2 win.

Cubs' starter Bill Faul gave up only a double to Ron Hunt in the top of the first. The Mets' Dennis Ribant yielded just a single to Billy Williams in the bottom half and Faul hurled a scoreless top of the second. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Lee Thomas hit a home run for a 1-0 Chicago lead. Ernie Banks singled and Randy Hundley flied out to center fielder Cleon Jones. Ribant then got Don Kessinger to ground out to shortstop Roy McMillan and fanned Faul to end the inning.

Ribant singled to begin the top of the third. Dennis advanced to second base on Hunt's sacrifice bunt and to third on a single by Al Luplow. On his own hit, Luplow moved to second via a throw. Ken Boyer reached on third baseman Banks' error to drive home Ribant with the tying run. Faul retired both Jones and Johnny Lewis on ground balls to first baseman John Boccabella for the inning's final outs. Ribant then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Ribant and Faul each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the seventh. Luplow and Boyer drew back-to-back walks against Faul with one out in the top of the eighth. Jones walked against Cubs' reliever Don Lee to load the bases and Lewis reached on second baseman Glenn Beckert's error to score Luplow. On the play, Boyer also came home for a 3-1 Mets lead. Ed Kranepool and Jerry Grote got consecutive singles against Chicago's Billy Hoeft to plate Jones and Lewis, respectively. The Cubs' Cal Koonce retired McMillan on a pop-up to shortstop Kessinger. Ribant followed with a single that brought home Kranepool and increased the Mets' lead to 6-1. Koonce got Hunt to fly out to right fielder Williams and finish off the inning. Ribant then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Boyer reached on an error by Banks with one out in the top of the ninth. Jones drew a walk and Lewis singled to load the bases. Kranepool hit a single to score Boyer and Jones, extending the Mets' lead to 8-1. Grote was walked intentionally to reload the bases and McMillan popped out to Kessinger. Koonce then got Ribant to ground out to Banks and end the inning.

Boccabella drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth. Thomas flied out to right fielder Luplow and a wild pitch advanced Boccabella to second base. Banks fouled out to catcher Grote and a single by Hundley drove home Boccabella with the Cubs' second run. Ribant then got Kessinger to line out to left fielder Lewis and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory and a doubleheader split.