June 3, 1972: Dyer's Homer Propels Mets to Victory

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Date: June 3, 1972
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 5
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Duffy Dyer, Cleon Jones, Tom Seaver
Key play: Dyer’s home run in 2nd, Jones’ double in 7th

The Mets faced the Braves on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played in front of 41,947 fans on hand. Duffy Dyer hit a three-run homer to send the Mets on their way to a 5-2 win over Atlanta.

After a scoreless first inning, Mets’ starter Tom Seaver retired the Braves in order in the top of the second. Atlanta’s Tom Kelley got John Milner to fly out to left fielder Rico Carty to begin the bottom half. Cleon Jones singled to center field and Wayne Garrett drew a walk. Dyer followed with a homer for a 3-0 Mets lead. Kelley walked Seaver and Braves’ reliever Jim Hardin issued a base on balls to Bud Harrelson. A fly ball by Ted Martinez was caught by right fielder Ralph Garr for the second out. Tommie Agee drew a walk to load the bases. Hardin then retired Rusty Staub on a fly ball to center fielder Dusty Baker to end the inning.

Marty Perez tripled to open the top of the third. Seaver struck out Hardin and issued a walk to Felix Millan. Garr was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Hank Aaron fouled out to catcher Dyer. Seaver fanned Carty for the final out of the inning. The Mets were held to a single by Garrett in a scoreless bottom half. Seaver pitched a perfect top of the fourth and led off the bottom half with a double to right field. Harrelson singled to advance Seaver to third base. Martinez grounded out to second baseman Millan to drive home Seaver with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Agee went down on strikes and Staub was given an intentional walk. Hardin then struck out Milner to finish off the inning.

Seaver and Hardin each pitched a scoreless fifth. Carty began the top of the sixth with a single to left field. Darrell Evans lined out to left fielder Milner and a double by Earl Williams sent Carty to third. A sacrifice fly by Baker scored Carty for the first Atlanta run. Perez grounded out to second baseman Martinez to end the inning. Hardin set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Seaver then limited the Braves to a bunt single by Garr in a scoreless top of the seventh.

Atlanta reliever George Stone hit Staub with a pitch to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Milner followed with a force play grounder to first baseman Aaron. Jones doubled to drive home Milner and extend the Mets’ lead to 5-1. Garrett popped out to Millan and an intentional walk to Dyer followed. Stone then got Seaver on a ground ball to third baseman Evans for an inning-ending force play.

Evans was hit by a pitch with one out in the top of the eighth. Williams singled off Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw to send Evans to second base. Baker doubled to score Evans with Williams advancing to third. McGraw struck out Perez and retired pinch-hitter Oscar Brown on a fly ball to center fielder Agee for the third out of the inning. Braves’ reliever Pat Jarvis then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Millan grounded out to shortstop Harrelson to begin the top of the ninth. McGraw struck out Garr and issued a walk to Aaron. Tug then got Carty to fly out to Agee and end the game. The Mets had a victory as Dyer’s homer got them out to a lead and they never looked back.