May 14, 1969: Eight-Run 8th Beats Braves

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Date: May 14, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 9
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee
Key play: Agee's two-run single, Jones' grand slam

The Mets and Braves faced each other on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The game started out as a pitchers duel as Tom Seaver and Atlanta's Phil Niekro kept it scoreless for five innings. The Mets then came out with a 9-3 win on the strength of 8 runs in the eighth inning.

Seaver held the Braves to four hits over the first five innings. In the sixth, the Braves got two runs on Tito Francona's sacrifice fly that scored Felix Millan and a Clete Boyer double on which Orlando Cepeda came home. The Atlanta lead increased to 3-0 in the seventh when Felipe Alou homered off Seaver.

Ken Boswell tripled for the Mets' first hit off Niekro to begin the bottom of the seventh. Cleon Jones followed with a ground out to score Boswell. Niekro retired the next two batters and Seaver followed up with a scoreless top of the eighth.

Niekro struck out Amos Otis to start the bottom half of the eighth inning. However, Braves' catcher Bob Didier let the third strike get past him and Otis reached first base. Amos got to third on Bud Harrelson's single and pinch-hitter Art Shamsky reached first on shortstop Sonny Jackson's error to load the bases. Tommie Agee followed with a double to score Otis and Harrelson to tie the game. Niekro was then replaced by reliever George Stone.

Ed Charles was given an intentional walk to reload the bases for the Mets. Stone then hit Boswell with a pitch, forcing home pinch-runner Al Weis with the go-ahead run. Jones came up and hit a grand slam to extend the Mets' lead to 8-3. Stone retired Ed Kranepool for the first out of the inning, but then gave up a triple to J. C. Martin and threw a wild pitch on which Martin scored another Met run.

Reliever Ron Taylor held the Braves scoreless in the top of the ninth. The Mets had a comeback victory with a late scoring barrage.

Notes

  • Jones' grand slam was the only one of his career.