June 4, 1976: Kingman Hits 3 Home Runs
|Date: June 4, 1976|
|Mets starter: Tom Seaver|
|Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver|
|Key player(s): Dave Kingman, Tom Seaver|
|Key play: Kingman's three homers|
The Mets began a West Coast trip with a Friday night game in Los Angeles. Tom Seaver held the Dodgers to three hits while pitching a shutout. Dave Kingman drove in eight runs with three homers in leading the Mets to an 11-0 win.
Seaver and Dodgers' starter Burt Hooton each began the game with three scoreless innings. John Milner then led off the top of the fourth with a single off Hooton. Kingman followed with a home run to put the Mets on top, 2-0.
Roy Staiger singled to start the fifth inning for the Mets. After moving to second base on Seaver's sacrifice bunt, Staiger scored on a single by Mike Phillips. Later in the inning, Kingman hit a three-run homer and Ed Kranepool followed with another home run. The Mets had a 7-0 lead as Hooton was taken out by Dodger manager Walter Alston.
Seaver struck out the side in order in the bottom of the fifth. Tom also pitched a scoreless sixth with an inning-ending double play grounder by Dave Lopes. The Mets increased their lead to ten runs in the seventh when Kingman hit his third home run of the game with Phillips and Milner on base.
In the top of the ninth, Kingman was struck out by Al Downing in his quest for a four-homer game. The Mets then added a run on Jerry Grote's double that scored Bruce Boisclair. Seaver retired the Dodgers in bottom half to close out the game. The Mets had an easy victory with Seaver's quality pitching and Kingman's standout slugging.
- Kingman became the second Mets' player to have a 3-homer game. The first was Jim Hickman in 1965.
- On the Baseball's Greatest Hits CD, the date for this game was erroneously displayed in relation to Tom Lasorda's emotional response to a question about Kingman hitting three home runs. The outburst by Lasorda actually happened on May 14, 1978, after Dave had homered three times for the Chicago Cubs against the Dodgers.