May 17, 1969: Fourteen Hits Pummel Reds

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Date: May 17, 1969
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 11
Reds: 3
Winning pitcher: Gary Gentry
Key player(s): Cleon Jones, J. C. Martin, Wayne Garrett, Tommie Agee
Key play: Jones’ and Martin’s home runs, Garrett’s RBI single and triple

The Mets faced the Reds on a Saturday night in Cincinnati. In the game, each player in the Mets’ starting lineup got at least one hit. The team compiled a total of fourteen in an 11-3 win.

Tommie Agee doubled against Reds’ starter Jim Maloney to lead off the top of the first inning. Wayne Garrett hit a single to drive home Agee with the first run of the game. Maloney was replaced on the mound by Cincinnati reliever Jack Fisher, who issued a walk to Ken Boswell. Cleon Jones followed with a three-run homer to increase the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Art Shamsky singled and consecutive fly balls by Ed Kranepool and J. C. Martin were caught by left fielder Alex Johnson. Bud Harrelson hit a single and Fisher struck out Gary Gentry to end the inning. Gentry then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Fisher pitched a perfect top of the second. Gentry shut down the Reds in the bottom of the inning and Kranepool drew a two-out walk in the top of the third. Martin slugged a home run for a 6-0 Mets lead and Fisher got Harrelson on an inning-ending pop-up to third baseman Tony Perez. Gentry set down all three batters in the bottom half and singled against Cincinnati’s John Noriega to begin the top of the fourth. Agee hit a force play ground ball back to Noriega and a single by Garrett ensued. Boswell singled to bring home Agee. On the play, Noriega made an error that allowed Garrett to score and Boswell to advance to third base. Jones followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Boswell and extend the New York lead to 9-0. Noriega retired Shamsky on a foul pop-up to catcher Johnny Bench to finish off the inning. Gentry then yielded only a single to Johnson in the bottom half.

Kranepool and Martin got back-to-back singles against Noriega to open the top of the fifth. Harrelson got an infield single off Reds’ reliever Wayne Granger to load the bases. Gentry went down on strikes and Agee reached on shortstop Darrel Chaney’s error to drive home Kranepool with the Mets’ tenth run of the game. Garrett grounded to second baseman Chico Ruiz for an inning-ending double play and Bench doubled to lead off the bottom half. Ruiz was called out on strikes and Chaney grounded out to second baseman Boswell. Gentry then threw a called third strike past Granger for the inning’s final out.

Granger retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Pete Rose hit a single to begin the bottom half. Bobby Tolan got a bunt single and Johnson singled to drive home Rose. Perez was retired on a foul pop-up to first baseman Kranepool. Lee May followed with a double that scored Tolan and sent Johnson to third base. Bench hit a ground ball on which Johnson got caught in a rundown and was tagged out by Boswell. Ruiz singled to bring home May and reduce the Mets’ lead to 10-3. Gentry then struck out Chaney to finish off the inning.

Granger retired the Mets on three straight infield grounders in the top of the seventh. Gentry hurled a scoreless bottom half and Agee doubled against Reds’ reliever Clay Carroll with one out in the top of the eighth. Garrett followed with a triple for the Mets’ fourteenth hit, driving home Agee with the eleventh New York run. Boswell was struck out and Amos Otis grounded out to Chaney to end the inning. Johnson singled to lead off the bottom half. Perez went down on strikes and May fouled out to catcher Martin. Bench hit a single and Gentry threw a called third strike past Ruiz to close out the inning. Carroll then pitched a perfect top of the ninth.

Chaney got a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Jimmy Stewart followed with a force play ground ball to Boswell. Rose flied out to center fielder Agee and a single by Tolan ensued. Gentry then retired Johnson on a fly ball to right fielder Shamsky for the game’s final out. The Mets had a solid victory.