May 2, 1971: Aspromonte's Triple in 10th Beats Astros

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Date: May 2, 1971
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 6
Astros: 5
Winning pitcher: Ron Taylor
Key player(s): Tommie Agee, Bud Harrelson, Ken Boswell, Bob Aspromonte
Key play: Harrelson’s triple, Agee’s single, Aspromonte’s triple

The Mets faced the Astros on a Sunday afternoon in Houston. The teams played the final of a three-game series. Bob Aspromonte hit a run-scoring triple in the 10th inning for a 6-5 Mets win.

Following a scoreless first, Astros’ starter Don Wilson gave up just a single to Ken Boswell in the top of the second. Jesus Alou doubled against the Mets’ Jerry Koosman to lead off the bottom half. Alou went to third base after Cesar Cedeno’s fly out to right fielder Dave Marshall and a walk to Jack Hiatt ensued. Wilson grounded out to shortstop Bud Harrelson to drive home Alou for a 1-0 Houston lead. Koosman then got Roger Metzger on a force play ground ball to third baseman Aspromonte that ended the inning.

Wilson set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Koosman pitched a scoreless bottom half and Wilson yielded only a single to Marshall in the top of the fourth. Cedeno singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning. With Hiatt at bat, Cedeno stole second base and advanced to third on an error by catcher Jerry Grote. Hiatt was given an intentional walk and Wilson hit a single to score Cedeno with the Astros’ second run. Koosman then got Metzger to foul out to Grote and finish off the inning.

Wilson held the Mets to a single by Grote in the top of the fifth. Koosman hurled a perfect bottom half and Tommie Agee doubled against Wilson to begin the top of the sixth. Harrelson followed with a triple that brought home Agee. Marshall grounded out to second baseman Joe Morgan and a single by Cleon Jones scored Harrelson with the tying run. Jones stole second base and came around to score on Ed Kranepool’s single for a 3-2 Mets lead. On a throw to the plate, Kranepool advanced to second. Houston reliever Jim Ray got Boswell to ground out to Morgan and a single by Aspromonte plated Kranepool with the fourth New York run. Aspromonte moved to second on a wild pitch and Grote was walked intentionally. Koosman hit a single on which left fielder Alou threw to catcher Hiatt for an out at home on Aspromonte that ended the inning. Jerry then shut down the Astros in the bottom half.

Ray pitched a scoreless top of the seventh. Mets’ reliever Danny Frisella hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Jones singled against Houston’s Fred Gladding to open the top of the eighth. Kranepool went down on strikes and Boswell singled to send Jones to third base. Aspromonte hit a ground ball to shortstop Metzger for an inning-ending double play and Frisella retired all three batters on infield grounders in the bottom half. To begin the top of the ninth, Grote doubled and moved to third on Frisella’s ground out to Morgan. Agee hit a single to bring home Grote and increase the Mets’ lead to 5-2. Harrelson singled and Gladding was replaced on the mound by Astros’ reliever Denny Lemaster, who struck out pinch-hitter Ken Singleton. Lemaster then got Jones on a ground ball to third baseman Denis Menke to close out the inning.

Alou singled against Frisella to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Cedeno followed with a two-run homer to reduce the Mets’ lead to 5-4. Pinch-hitter Rich Chiles singled and pinch-hitter Cesar Geronimo was called out on strikes. Pinch-hitter Norm Miller hit a single and New York reliever Ray Sadecki got Morgan to hit a force play ground ball to first baseman Kranepool. Jim Wynn singled against the Mets’ Ron Taylor to drive home Chiles and tie the game at 5-5. Taylor then retired Bob Watson on a fly ball to center fielder Don Hahn that ended the inning and sent the game onward.

Boswell hit a one-out double against Houston reliever George Culver in the top of the 10th. Aspromonte tripled to score Boswell and put the Mets back in front by a run. With Grote at the plate, Aspromonte got caught between bases and was tagged out by third baseman Doug Rader. Grote grounded out to Culver to finish off the inning and Menke fouled out to Aspromonte to lead off the bottom half. Alou and Cedeno hit back-to-back singles and Rader was retired on a foul pop-up to Kranepool. Taylor then got Johnny Edwards to fly out to Hahn and bring the game to an end. The Mets had an extra-inning victory to close out the series.


  • Aspromonte's triple was his only one of the season and last of his career