May 12, 1972: Boswell's and Grote's Key Hits Beat Giants

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Date: May 12, 1972
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 2
Giants: 1
Winning pitcher: Danny Frisella
Key player(s): Ken Boswell, Jerry Grote
Key play: Boswell’s double in 8th, Grote’s single in 9th

The Mets faced the Giants on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series in front of 44,271 fans on hand. Ken Boswell and Jerry Grote drove in key runs in the eight and ninth innings, respectively, for a 2-1 Mets win over San Francisco.

Gary Gentry and the Giants’ Steve Stone each pitched scoreless ball from the first inning to the fifth. Leading off the top of the sixth, Chris Speier homered for a 1-0 San Francisco lead. Tito Fuentes singled and moved to second base on a single by Bobby Bonds. Dave Kingman hit a single on which left fielder Cleon Jones threw to catcher Grote for an out at home on Fuentes. Gentry issued an intentional walk to Ken Henderson that loaded the bases and got Al Gallagher to hit a ground ball to shortstop Bud Harrelson for an inning-ending double play. Stone then retired the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Following a scoreless seventh inning, Gentry walked Bonds to begin the top of the eighth. Gary’s wild pitch advanced Bonds to second base and Mets’ reliever Chuck Taylor got Kingman to ground out to third baseman Jim Fregosi. Henderson was walked intentionally and Taylor got Gallagher on a grounder to Harrelson for a double play that ended the inning. With one out in the bottom half, pinch-hitter John Milner (booed by the Shea crowd because he was not the recently-acquired Willie Mays) drew a walk. Milner moved to second on Harrelson’s ground out and scored the tying run on Boswell’s double to left field. Stone was then replaced on the mound by Giants’ reliever Jerry Johnson, who retired Tommie Agee on a fly ball to right fielder Bonds to close out the inning.

Mets’ reliever Danny Frisella pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. Johnson issued a one-out walk to Jones in the bottom half. Fregosi singled to send Jones to third and Ed Kranepool was walked intentionally to load the bases. Grote followed with a single to center field that brought home Jones to end the game. The Mets had begun the weekend series with a victory.