May 11, 1971: Marshall Slams the Astros

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Date: May 11, 1971
Mets starter: Nolan Ryan
Mets: 8
Astros: 1
Winning pitcher: Nolan Ryan
Key player(s): Dave Marshall
Key play: Marshall's grand slam

The Mets and Astros faced each other on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the middle part of a three-game series. Dave Marshall hit a grand slam to highlight the Mets' 8-1 win over Houston.

Nolan Ryan and Astros' starter Larry Dierker each pitched a perfect first inning. In the top of the second, Ryan hit Bob Watson with a pitch and followed up with a walk to Denis Menke. Nolan rebounded by striking out Cesar Cedeno. He then got Doug Rader to hit a ground ball to first baseman Ed Kranepool for a double play that ended the inning.

Cleon Jones led off the bottom of the second with a single to right field. Kranepool followed with a double that moved Jones to third base. A ground out by Ken Boswell to second baseman Joe Morgan brought home Jones for the first run of the game. Jerry Grote singled to score Kranepool from third. Don Hahn hit into a force play and Ryan drove a single to right field. Cedeno misplayed the ball and Hahn came around to score for a 3-0 Mets lead. Dierker then walked Bud Harrelson and struck out Tim Foli to end the inning.

Ryan and Dierker pitched scoreless ball in the third and fourth innings. In the top of the fifth, Nolan walked Johnny Edwards and struck out Dierker. Edwards advanced to third base on a single by Roger Metzger and scored on Morgan's force play grounder to shortstop Harrelson. Ryan retired Jimmy Wynn on a fly ball to left fielder Jones for the final out of the inning. The Mets were retired in order by Dierker in the bottom half. Ryan then set down Houston despite a walk to Menke and a single by Rader in the top of the sixth.

Boswell hit a single to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Grote singled to move Boswell to third. Dierker retired the next two batters and walked Harrelson to load the bases. An ensuing walk to Foli forced home Boswell for the Mets' fourth run. Facing Astros' reliever George Culver, Marshall clouted a grand slam home run. Jones then hit a grounder back to Culver for the third out of the inning.

Ryan and Houston's Ken Forsch each pitched one-hit shutout ball in the seventh and eighth innings. In the top of the ninth, Ryan retired Norm Miller on a fly ball to Jones and set down Marty Martinez on a grounder to Harrelson. Nolan then got Metzger to fly out to center fielder Hahn and end the game. The Mets had a victory with Marshall's slam as the big hit.