May 10, 1966: Seven Runs Lead Mets Past Astros

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Date: May 10, 1966
Mets starter: Rob Gardner
Mets: 7
Astros: 4
Winning pitcher: Dick Selma
Key player(s): Dick Selma, Ken Boyer, Johnny Lewis, Jim Hickman
Key play: Mets’ home runs, Jackson’s error

The Mets faced the Astros on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a two-game series. The Mets scored seven runs in the first three innings and defeated Houston, 7-4.

Joe Morgan and Sonny Jackson drew walks against Mets’ starter Rob Gardner to begin the top of the first. Jim Wynn went down on strikes and Dave Nicholson singled to drive home Morgan. Jim Gentile grounded back to Gardner for an inning-ending double play. With two outs in the bottom half, Ken Boyer homered against the Astros’ Dave Giusti to tie the game at 1-1. Giusti then retired Ed Kranepool on a pop-up to third baseman Bob Aspromonte for the inning’s third out.

Gardner pitched a scoreless top of the second. Johnny Lewis hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom half. Jim Hickman homered for a 3-1 Mets lead and Giusti set down the next two batters to close out the inning. Gardner hurled a perfect top of the third and Ed Bressoud drew a one-out walk in the bottom half. Boyer singled and Kranepool popped out Aspromonte. Cleon Jones hit a single to score Bressoud and a walk to Lewis loaded the bases. With Houston reliever Don Lee on the mound, Hickman reached on shortstop Jackson’s error that allowed Boyer and Jones to come home. Jerry Grote singled to plate Lewis and extend the Mets’ lead to 7-1. Lee then retired Gardner on a grounder to Jackson to finish off the inning.

Wynn got a leadoff double in the top of the fourth. Nicholson and Gentile were struck out and Aspromonte hit a single to score Wynn. John Bateman singled and Rusty Staub drew a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Felix Mantilla was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Hickman to end the inning. Astros’ reliever Gary Kroll then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Jackson tripled against Gardner with one out in the top of the fifth. Wynn followed with a single to drive home Jackson and reduce the Mets’ lead to 7-3. New York reliever Dick Selma fanned Nicholson and got Gentile on an inning-ending fly ball to Hickman. Kroll shut down the Mets in the bottom half and Selma retired the side in order in the top of the sixth. Kranepool hit a two-out double in the bottom of the inning. Kroll then got Jones on a ground ball to second baseman Morgan for the inning’s final out.

Selma and Houston reliever Claude Raymond each pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Aspromonte got an infield single to open the top of the ninth. Bateman was retired on a foul pop-up to catcher Grote. Staub flied out to Hickman and a single by pinch-hitter Lee Maye ensued. Morgan singled to bring home Aspromonte with the Astros’ fourth run. Selma then got Jackson to ground out to third baseman Boyer and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory to start the two-game set.