June 6, 1986: Mets Defeat Pirates for DH Split

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Date: June 6, 1986
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 10
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: Roger McDowell
Key player(s): Mookie Wilson, Danny Heep, Rick Aguilera
Key play: Wilson’s home run, Heep’s double, Aguilera’s home run

The Mets and Pirates faced each other in a doubleheader on a Friday evening. After losing the opener, the Mets aimed for a split of the twinbill at Three Rivers Stadium. The team compiled eight extra base hits in a 10-4 victory over Pittsburgh.

Mookie Wilson began the top of the first inning with a home run off Pirates’ starter Jose DeLeon. With one out, Darryl Strawberry drew a walk and stole second base. DeLeon walked Danny Heep and Strawberry stole third. On Heep’s steal of second, Strawberry scored the Mets’ second run when catcher Junior Ortiz made an errant throw. Ray Knight grounded out to shortstop Sam Khalifa and a strikeout of Kevin Mitchell ended the inning. Mets’ starter Rick Aguilera then shut down the Bucs in the bottom half.

Aguilera and DeLeon each pitched scoreless ball in the second and third innings. Tim Corcoran walked with one out in the top of the fourth. DeLeon fanned Ed Hearn and gave up a two-run homer to Aguilera. Wilson followed with a single and a steal of second base. Backman drew a walk and Strawberry hit a single to drive home Mookie. Heep doubled to bring home Backman and Strawberry to extend that Mets’ lead to 7-0. Knight singled off Pittsburgh reliever Jim Winn to plate Heep with the eighth New York run. Mitchell then hit a force play grounder to third baseman Bill Almon to end the inning.

Lee Mazzilli opened the bottom of the fourth with a double. R. J. Reynolds popped out to shortstop Mitchell and a fly out by Almon advanced Mazzilli to third base. Ortiz singled to score Mazzilli with the Bucs’ first run of the game. Khalifa drew a walk and Aguilera struck out Winn to close out the inning. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Rick hit a single and moved to third on an ensuing double by Wilson. Winn then retired Backman on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Johnny Ray.

The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Aguilera threw a wild pitch to bring home Joe Orsulak from third. Reynolds hit a double to score Ray and Mazzilli, cutting the Mets’ lead to 8-4. Roger McDowell came in to pitch and fanned Almon for the second out. Ortiz flied out to center fielder Wilson to end the inning. Strawberry homered to lead off the top of the sixth. Winn struck out Heep and Knight and got Mitchell on a pop-up to Ray. McDowell then retired all three Pittsburgh batters on infield grounders in the bottom of the inning.

Hearn hit a one-out double off Pirates’ reliever Cecilio Guante in the top of the seventh. McDowell popped out to Khalifa, who then made an error on which Wilson reached second base. Backman singled to score Hearn from third for the Mets’ tenth run. Guante retired Strawberry on an inning-ending pop-up to Khalifa. McDowell set down the side in order in the bottom half and Guante did the same in the top of the eighth. The Bucs were then shut down by McDowell again in the bottom of the inning.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, pinch-hitter Lenny Dykstra doubled for the Mets’ eighth extra-base hit. Wilson hit a grounder to first baseman Mazzilli for the third out. Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco struck out pinch-hitter Mike Brown to begin the bottom half of the inning. Barry Bonds went down on strikes and Orsulak drew a walk. Orosco then got Mike Diaz to ground out to second baseman Backman and end the game. The Mets had gained a split of the doubleheader in Pittsburgh.