June 3, 1979: Fifteen Hits Bury Braves

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Date: June 3, 1979
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 9
Braves: 4
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Willie Montanez, John Stearns, Skip Lockwood
Key play: Stearns’ three singles, Montanez’s home run

The Mets faced the Braves on a Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets pounded out a total of fifteen hits in a 9-4 win.

Joel Youngblood doubled against Braves’ starter Mickey Mahler to lead off the top of the first inning. Frank Taveras was called out on strikes and Lee Mazzilli drew a walk. Richie Hebner singled to drive home Youngblood and advanced to third base on a single by John Stearns that scored Mazzilli. Stearns stole second and Willie Montanez hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Hebner. John moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on Steve Henderson’s double for a 4-0 Mets lead. Mickey Mahler was replaced on the mound by his brother, Rick Mahler, who threw a called third strike past Doug Flynn for the third out. Mets’ starter Pat Zachry then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Rick Mahler shut down the Mets in the top of the second. Joe Nolan drew a walk to begin the bottom of the inning. Rowland Office reached on an error by second baseman Flynn to advance Nolan to third base and Glenn Hubbard went down on strikes. Pinch-hitter Mike Lum singled to drive home Nolan. Jerry Royster followed with a single to score Office and reduce the Mets’ lead to 4-2. Zachry then got Gary Matthews on a ground ball to Flynn for the third out of the inning.

Stearns drew a walk against Atlanta reliever Adrian Devine to open the top of the third. Montanez hit a two-run homer and Henderson doubled to right field. Henderson went to third base on Flynn’s ground out to second baseman Hubbard. Zachry grounded out to shortstop Pepe Frias and a fly ball by Youngblood was caught by left fielder Jeff Burroughs to close out the inning. Zachry then set down the Braves in order in the bottom half.

Mazzilli got a one-out single in the top of the fourth. Hebner drew a walk and Mazzilli was caught stealing on catcher Nolan’s throw to third baseman Royster. Stearns hit a force play grounder to Frias for the inning’s final out and Zachry hurled a perfect bottom half. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Flynn hit a triple to left field. Devine got Zachry on an inning-ending ground ball to Royster. Pat then gave up just a single to Matthews in the bottom of the inning.

Braves’ reliever Jamie Easterly retired Youngblood on a fly ball to center fielder Office to begin the top of the sixth. Taveras reached on an error by Frias and a single by Elliott Maddox ensued. Hebner hit a force play grounder to Hubbard to send Taveras to third base. A passed ball by Nolan brought home Taveras and moved Hebner to second. Stearns singled to score Hebner for an 8-2 Mets lead. Montanez hit a single on which Stearns advanced to third. On his own hit, Montanez was out via a relay throw by Frias to Hubbard to finish off the inning.

Nolan drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Office went down on strikes and Hubbard singled to send Nolan to third base. Frias followed with a triple that plated Nolan and Hubbard with the Braves’ third and fourth runs of the game. Zachry got pinch-hitter Charlie Spikes on a ground ball to third baseman Hebner to end the inning and Atlanta’s Bo McLaughlin gave up just a triple to Flynn in the top of the seventh. Mets’ reliever Skip Lockwood then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

To begin the top of the eighth, Taveras singled and stole second base. Maddox lined out to first baseman Bob Horner and a ground out by Hebner (to Hubbard) moved Taveras to third. Stearns followed with a single to score Taveras with the Mets’ ninth run. McLaughlin got Montanez on a ground ball to Hubbard to close out the inning and Lockwood yielded only a single to Nolan in the bottom half. Braves’ reliever Skok then gave up just a single to Flynn in the top of the ninth.

Frias flied out to right fielder Youngblood to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Darrel Chaney was retired on a grounder to Flynn. Lockwood then got Royster to fly out to center fielder Maddox and end the game. The Mets had a series-closing victory.

Notes

  • The save for Lockwood was his final one as a Met