June 6, 1980: Eight-Run 2nd Buries Bucs

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Date: June 6, 1980
Mets starter: Pete Falcone
Mets: 9
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: Tom Hausman
Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, Steve Henderson, John Stearns
Key play: Mazzilli’s single and homer, Henderson’s and Stearns’ singles

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. The Mets scored eight runs in the second inning and defeated Pittsburgh, 9-4.

Omar Moreno singled against Mets’ starter Pete Falcone to lead off the top of the first. Moreno stole second base and moved to third on Phil Garner’s single. On his own hit, Garner advanced to second via an error by right fielder Joel Youngblood. Dave Parker followed with a sacrifice fly to score Moreno for a 1-0 Pirates lead. A wild pitch sent Garner to third and Bill Robinson went down on strikes. Falcone retired Lee Lacy on a fly ball to left fielder Steve Henderson for the third out. Bucs’ starter Bert Blyleven then set down the side on three straight infield grounders in the bottom half.

Falcone pitched a perfect top of the second. Mike Jorgensen drew a walk to open the bottom of the inning. Jorgensen went to second base on Youngblood’s single and to third after John Stearns’ fly out to right fielder Parker. Youngblood stole second and Elliott Maddox walked to load the bases. Doug Flynn singled to score Jorgensen and a walk to Falcone forced home Youngblood. Lee Mazzilli hit a single to drive home Maddox and Flynn. Frank Taveras singled to reload the bases and advanced to third on Henderson’s single that plated Falcone and Mazzilli for a 6-1 New York lead. Blyleven was then replaced on the mound by Pittsburgh reliever Rod Scurry.

With Jorgensen at bat for the second time in the inning, Henderson stole second base. Jorgensen lined out to first baseman Robinson and a walk to Youngblood loaded the bases once again. Stearns singled to drive home Taveras and Henderson, increasing the Mets’ lead to 8-1. On the play, Youngblood moved to third and Stearns to second via a throw. Scurry then threw a called third strike past Maddox to finish off the inning.

Scurry got a leadoff single in the top of the third. Falcone retired the next three batters on infield grounders to end the inning and Scurry shut down the Mets in the bottom half. Robinson hit a home run to begin the top of the fourth. Lacy singled and Dale Berra flied out to center fielder Mazzilli. Steve Nicosia and Vance Law were retired on pop-ups to second baseman Flynn for the inning’s final outs. Scurry then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Falcone retired pinch-hitter Manny Sanguillen on a ground ball to Flynn to start the top of the fifth. Moreno got a bunt single and stole second base. Garner followed with a home run to reduce the Mets’ lead to 8-4. Parker singled and Robinson grounded back to Mets’ reliever Tom Hausman for an inning-ending double play. The Pirates’ Andy Hassler hurled a perfect bottom half and Hausman retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Mazzilli homered for the Mets’ ninth run of the game. Hassler then fanned Taveras for the inning’s final out.

The Bucs had the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh. Parker grounded to Flynn for a double play that ended the inning and Pittsburgh reliever Enrique Romo retired the side in order in the bottom half. Hausman surrendered just a walk to Lacy in the top of the eighth and Romo set down all three batters in the bottom of the inning. Law fouled out to first baseman Jorgensen to lead off the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Mike Easler flied out to Mazzilli and a single by Moreno ensued. Hausman then got Garner to ground out to shortstop Taveras and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory to begin the weekend series.