May 1, 1977: Mets Complete Sweep of Padres

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Date: May 1, 1977
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 8
Padres: 2
Winning pitcher: Craig Swan
Key player(s): Joe Torre, Roy Staiger, Lenny Randle
Key play: Torre’s sacrifice fly and double, Staiger’s double and homer

The Mets faced the Padres on a Sunday afternoon in San Diego. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets completed a series sweep with an 8-2 win.

Lenny Randle hit a triple against Padres’ starter Bob Shirley with one out in the top of the first inning. Joe Torre followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Randle for a 1-0 Mets lead. Dave Kingman flied out to center fielder George Hendrick to end the inning and New York’s Craig Swan retired the side on three straight infield ground balls in the bottom half. Shirley pitched a scoreless top of the second and Gene Tenace drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning. Hendrick singled and Mike Ivie flied out to center fielder Lee Mazzilli. Swan then got Gary Sutherland to hit a grounder to shortstop Leo Foster for an inning-ending double play.

Foster singled to open the top of the third. Leo advanced to second base on Swan’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Mazzilli’s infield single. A balk brought home Foster and sent Mazzilli to second. Randle went down on strikes and Torre doubled to score Mazzilli, increasing the Mets’ lead to 3-0. Kingman was given an intentional walk and Shirley got Mike Vail on a force play ground ball to shortstop Bill Almon to end the inning. Swan then yielded only a single to Gene Richards in the bottom half.

John Stearns drew a walk against Shirley to begin the top of the fourth. Staiger hit a double to drive home Stearns with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. San Diego reliever Butch Metzger retired the next three batters on infield grounders and Dave Winfield singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Tenace popped out to Foster and a strikeout of Hendrick ensued. Swan then fanned Ivie for the inning’s third out.

After a scoreless fifth, Staiger slugged a solo home run against Padres’ reliever Victor Bernal with two outs in the top of the sixth. Foster drew a walk and Bernal got Swan to hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Sutherland to close out the inning. To open the bottom half, Richards singled and moved to second base on a balk. Almon grounded out to Foster and a single by Winfield plated Richards with the Padres’ first run. Swan was replaced on the mound by the Mets’ Bob Apodaca, who got Tenace on a force play ground ball to second baseman Randle. Apodaca then struck out Hendrick to end the inning.

Bernal set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. A single by Ivie began the bottom half. Ivie went to third base on Sutherland’s single and came home on pinch-hitter Merv Rettenmund’s force play grounder to third baseman Staiger. Apodaca retired pinch-hitter Jerry Turner on a line drive to left fielder Bruce Boisclair and got Richards on an inning-ending ground ball to Randle. San Diego reliever Rollie Fingers gave up only a single to Staiger in the top of the eighth. Apodaca and the Mets’ Skip Lockwood then combined for a scoreless bottom half.

Lockwood singled to lead off the top of the ninth. Mazzilli drew a walk and Randle hit a single to drive home Lockwood. Torre went down on strikes and Boisclair reached on first baseman Ivie’s error that allowed Mazzilli to score and Randle to advance to third base. On a double steal, Boisclair moved to second and Randle came home with the Mets’ eighth run of the game. Fingers then threw a called third strike past Vail to end the inning.

Ivie was retired on a fly ball to Mazzilli to begin the bottom of the ninth. Sutherland singled and Doug Rader was struck out. Turner drew a walk and pinch-hitter Dave Roberts walked to load the bases. Lockwood then got Almon to hit a force play ground ball to Staiger for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory and a sweep of the series.