June 29, 1970: Two Runs in 9th Jolt Pirates

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Date: June 29, 1970
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 3
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Wayne Garrett, Dave Marshall, Donn Clendenon
Key play: Garrett’s double, Marshall’s single, Clendenon’s sacrifice fly

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. The Mets scored twice in the ninth inning for a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh.

Tom Seaver and the Bucs’ Steve Blass each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Seaver retired all twelve batters he faced while Blass gave up just a walk and a pair of singles. With one out in the top of the fifth, Willie Stargell doubled for the Pirates’ first hit of the game. Gene Alley singled to score Stargell with the game’s first run and Seaver struck out both Jerry May and Bill Mazeroski to end the inning. Dave Marshall and Ken Boswell got back-to-back singles to begin the bottom half. Wayne Garrett hit a double to bring home Marshall and tie the game at 1-1. Jerry Grote followed with a ground ball on which shortstop Alley threw to catcher May for an out at home on Boswell. Blass then fanned Seaver and got Tommie Agee on a force play grounder to second baseman Mazeroski to close out the inning.

Seaver and Blass each pitched scoreless ball from the sixth inning to the eighth. Richie Hebner hit a one-out single in the top of the ninth. Roberto Clemente singled and Al Oliver was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Ken Singleton. Stargell followed with a single that brought home Hebner and put the Bucs ahead, 2-1. With Alley at the plate, pinch-runner Johnny Jeter stole second base. Seaver then struck out Alley to end the inning.

Singleton singled against Blass to open the bottom of the ninth. Art Shamsky hit a single to advance Singleton to third base. Marshall singled to score Singleton and tie the game at 2-2. Pittsburgh reliever Joe Gibbon hit Boswell with a pitch to load the bases. Facing the Pirates’ Orlando Pena, pinch-hitter Cleon Jones hit a grounder on which third baseman Hebner threw to May for an out at home on pinch-runner Al Weis. Pinch-hitter Donn Clendenon followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Marshall with the winning run. The Mets had a comeback victory to take a one-game lead over the Bucs at the top of the National League East Division standings.