June 6, 1982: Mets End Four-Game Skid

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Date: June 6, 1982
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 6
Reds: 3
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Ron Hodges, Joel Youngblood
Key play: Hodges’ and Youngblood’s home runs

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati. The teams played the finale of a three-game series at Riverfront Stadium. The Mets ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 win.

After a scoreless first inning, Mike Jorgensen singled off Reds’ starter Frank Pastore to begin the top of the second. Hubie Brooks followed with a single to right field. Ron Hodges homered to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Pastore struck out Ron Gardenhire and retired Craig Swan on a ground ball to second baseman Ron Oester. A strikeout of Wally Backman ended the inning. With two outs in the bottom half, Cesar Cedeno hit a solo home run off Mets’ starter Swan. Craig then got Johnny Bench on an inning-ending line drive to center fielder Joel Youngblood.

Youngblood led off the top of the third with a double to left field. Rusty Staub grounded out to first baseman Dan Driessen to advance Youngblood to third base. Joel scored the Mets’ fourth run of the game on George Foster’s sacrifice fly. Pastore retired Jorgensen on a pop-up to shortstop Dave Concepcion for the third out. Swan shut down the Reds in the bottom of the inning. Pastore pitched a perfect top of the fourth. The Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half. Swan then got Alex Trevino to pop out to first baseman Staub and end the inning.

The Mets failed to score in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half, Eddie Milner singled with one out and moved to third base on a two-out single by Concepcion. Driessen hit a single to bring home Milner and cut the Mets’ lead to 4-2. Mike Vail popped out to second baseman Backman to end the inning. Cincinnati reliever Charlie Leibrandt pitched a scoreless top of the sixth. Swan then shut down the Reds in the bottom half.

Hodges got a one-out single off Cincinnati’s Joe Price in the top of the seventh inning. Gardenhire flied out to right fielder Milner. As a pinch-hitter for Swan, Rusty Tillman singled in his first major league at bat. Price retired pinch-hitter Bob Bailor on a pop-up to Oester for the third out. Mets’ reliever Tom Hausman then set down the Reds 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the eighth, Youngblood hit a leadoff home run and Staub followed with a walk. Foster singled to move pinch-runner Mookie Wilson to second base. Price struck out Jorgensen and Reds’ reliever Jim Kern retired Brooks on a ground ball to Concepcion. Hodges was walked intentionally to load the bases. Kern then got Gardenhire on a force play grounder to Oester that closed out the inning.

Cedeno got a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth. Bench doubled to advance Cedeno to third base. A single by Trevino scored Cedeno and reduced the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Pinch-hitter Larry Biittner hit a grounder to second baseman Bailor for an inning-ending double play. Against Cincinnati’s Tom Hume in the top of the ninth, Bailor singled with one out and stole second base. Youngblood popped out to Driessen and a single by Wilson plated Bailor with the Mets’ sixth run. Hume then retired Foster on a fly ball to Milner for the third out of the inning.

Hausman got Milner on a line drive to left fielder Foster to open the bottom of the ninth. Oester singled and Concepcion lined out to Bailor. Driessen hit a single to keep the Reds’ chances alive. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen then came in to pitch and recorded a strikeout of Vail to end the game. The Mets had a victory to stop their four-game skid.