May 16, 1983: Strawberry's First Home Run

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Date: May 16, 1983
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 11
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: Ed Lynch
Key player(s): Darryl Strawberry, Hubie Brooks, Jose Oquendo, Ed Lynch
Key play: Oquendo’s and Lynch’s singles, Strawberry’s home run, Brooks’ double and triple

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Monday evening in Pittsburgh. Following a Sunday rainout, the teams concluded a four-game series at Three Rivers Stadium. Darryl Strawberry hit his first major league home run in an 11-4 Mets rout of the Bucs.

Pittsburgh’s Jim Bibby and the Mets’ Ed Lynch each pitched a scoreless first inning. Leading off the top of the second, George Foster hit a double to center field. Dave Kingman and Ron Hodges followed with walks to load the bases and Brian Giles went down on strikes. A single by Jose Oquendo brought home Foster with the first run of the game. Lynch singled to center field to score Kingman and Hodges with Oquendo advancing to third base. Pirates’ reliever Lee Tunnell came in to pitch and got Mookie Wilson to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Dale Berra. Oquendo scored on the play to extend the Mets’ lead to 4-0. With Hubie Brooks at bat, Tunnell caught Wilson with a pickoff throw to end the inning. Lynch then shut down the Bucs in the bottom half.

Tunnell retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the third inning. Lee Mazzilli began the bottom half with a homer for the first Pittsburgh run. Lynch set down the next two batters and Jason Thompson singled. Richie Hebner hit a fly ball to center fielder Wilson for the third out. Tunnell set down the Mets in order in the top of the fourth. Lynch then hurled a perfect bottom of the inning.

Oquendo drew a walk to start the top of the fifth. A balk by Tunnell advanced Jose to second base and Lynch was struck out. Tunnell threw a wild pitch that sent Oquendo to third. Wilson hit a grounder on which first baseman Thompson threw to catcher Tony Pena for an out at home on Oquendo. Brooks doubled to score Wilson and moved to third on Tunnell’s second wild pitch. Strawberry followed with his first career homer for a 7-1 Mets lead. Tunnell retired Foster on an inning-ending ground ball to Berra. Lynch then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

Kingman singled off Pirates’ reliever Jim Winn to start the top of the sixth inning. Hodges and Giles followed with singles to load the bases. A single by Oquendo plated Kingman and Hodges for two more New York runs. Winn retired Lynch and Wilson on consecutive infield grounders. Brooks hit a triple to drive home Giles and Oquendo, increasing the Mets’ lead to 11-1. Strawberry then flied out to center fielder Mazzilli to end the inning.

Dave Parker doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Thompson hit a single to advance Parker to third base. Hebner hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Parker and an ensuing double by Mike Easler sent Thompson to third. Pena singled to score Thompson and Easler. Craig Swan replaced Lynch on the mound and retired Berra on a foul pop-up to catcher Hodges. Swan struck out pinch-hitter Brian Harper to end the inning and the Bucs’ Randy Niemann retired the side in order in the top of the seventh. Mazzilli drew a walk and stole second base to begin the bottom half. Swan set down the next two Pittsburgh hitters and followed up with a pair of walks that loaded the bases. Craig then got Easler to ground out to first baseman Mike Jorgensen and finish off the inning.

Niemann and Swan each pitched a perfect eighth. Pirates’ reliever Manny Sarmiento retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. Mazzilli grounded out to second baseman Giles to open the bottom of the inning. Johnny Ray singled and Parker flied out to left fielder Foster. Swan then retired Thompson on a game-ending fly ball to right fielder Strawberry. The Mets had a solid victory that featured Darryl’s first round-tripper as a major leaguer.

Notes

  • Swan recorded the second of his two career major league saves in this game. His other save came in the Mets’ 8-3 win at Los Angeles on July 18, 1982.