May 15, 1966: Gardner Four-Hits Giants

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Date: May 15, 1966
Mets starter: Rob Gardner
Mets: 6
Giants: 1
Winning pitcher: Rob Gardner
Key player(s): Rob Gardner, Ron Hunt, Johnny Lewis, John Stephenson
Key play: Mets’ RBI singles, Stephenson’s double

The Mets faced the Giants on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Rob Gardner pitched a four-hitter in a 6-1 Mets win over San Francisco.

Tito Fuentes singled against Gardner to lead off the top of the first inning. Jim Davenport drew a walk and Willie Mays hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Roy McMillan. Jim Ray Hart flied out to right fielder Johnny Lewis, who followed up with a throw to catcher John Stephenson. Caught between bases on the play, Fuentes was out via a throw by Stephenson to third baseman Ed Bressoud for an inning-ending double play.

Ron Hunt hit a single against Giants’ starter Gaylord Perry to begin the bottom of the first. Bressoud was called out on strikes and Hunt stole second base. Johnny Lewis singled to drive home Hunt and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Cleon Jones drew a walk and Ed Kranepool was struck out. Stephenson flied out to right fielder Ollie Brown to end the inning and Gardner hurled a scoreless top of the second. Perry then set down the side in order in the bottom half.

Gardner retired all three San Francisco batters in the top of the third. Hunt singled against Perry to open the bottom of the inning. Bressoud and Lewis were retired on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Mays. Jones hit a single that scored Hunt all the way from first base and advanced to second via a throw. Kranepool singled to drive home Jones and came around to score on a double by Stephenson. Ron Swoboda followed with a triple to plate Stephenson and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Giants’ reliever Bob Priddy then got McMillan to fly out to Brown and finish off the inning.

A walk to Mays began the top of the fourth. Hart hit a double play grounder to McMillan and a single by Jesus Alou ensued. Gardner threw a called third strike past Brown to close out the inning and singled to open the bottom half. Hunt hit a force play ground ball back to Priddy and moved to third base on Bressoud’s single. Ron came home on Lewis’s force play grounder to shortstop Hal Lanier for a 6-0 New York lead. Jones singled and Priddy retired Kranepool on a ground ball to second baseman Fuentes for the inning’s third out.

Gardner limited the Giants to a walk to Tom Haller in the top of the fifth. San Francisco reliever Joe Gibbon surrendered only a walk to Swoboda in the bottom half. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Hart hit a solo home run. Alou popped out to McMillan to end the inning and Hunt got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Bressoud grounded to Lanier for a double play and Lewis popped out to first baseman Davenport to finish off the inning. Gardner hurled a perfect top of the seventh and Stephenson got a two-out triple in the bottom half. Gibbon then threw a called third strike past Swoboda for the final out of the inning.

Gardner retired the side in order in the top of the eighth. Giants’ reliever Lindy McDaniel pitched a perfect bottom half and Mays grounded out to Bressoud to lead off the top of the ninth. Hart popped out to second baseman Hunt and a single by Alou followed. Gardner then got Brown to fly out to Lewis and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a victory on Rob’s four-hitter to close out the weekend series.