May 20, 1966: Hunt's 5 RBIs Jolt Giants

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Date: May 20, 1966
Mets starter: Jack Fisher
Mets: 7
Giants: 5
Winning pitcher: Dick Selma
Key player(s): Ron Hunt, John Stephenson
Key play: Hunt’s two-run single and three-run homer

The Mets faced the Giants on a Friday night in San Francisco. The teams played the opener of a four-game series. Ron Hunt drove in five runs in a 7-5 Mets win.

Hunt singled against Giants’ starter Gaylord Perry to lead off the top of the first inning. Cleon Jones hit a force play ground ball to second baseman Tito Fuentes and stole second base. Johnny Lewis drew a walk and advanced to third on Dick Stuart’s single that drove home Jones for a 1-0 Mets lead. Perry got Ed Kranepool on a grounder to Fuentes for an inning-ending double play. Mets’ starter Jack Fisher then pitched a scoreless bottom half.

After scoreless second and third innings, Perry yielded only a double to Kranepool in the top of the fourth. Willie McCovey got a leadoff single in the bottom half. Jim Ray Hart singled and moved around to third base on right fielder Lewis’s error that allowed McCovey to score. Fisher retired Jim Davenport on a pop-up to third baseman Chuck Hiller and got Jesus Alou to ground out to second baseman Hunt. Ollie Brown reached on shortstop Ed Bressoud’s error that brought home Hart for a 2-1 San Francisco lead. Perry then grounded out to first baseman Stuart to finish off the inning.

Hunt drew a two-out walk in the top of the fifth. Jones singled to send Hunt to third base and stole second. Perry threw a called third strike past Lewis to close out the inning and Fisher gave up just a single to Willie Mays in the bottom half. With one out in the top of the sixth, Kranepool singled against Perry and advanced to third on a single by Hiller. John Stephenson hit a single to score Kranepool and tie the game. Bressoud flied out to center fielder Mays and a walk to Fisher loaded the bases. Hunt followed with a single to bring home Hiller and Stephenson for a 4-2 Mets lead. Giants’ reliever Lindy McDaniel then got Jones on a force play ground ball to third baseman Hart for the inning’s final out.

Hart hit a home run to begin the bottom of the sixth. Fisher struck out Davenport and retired Alou on a grounder to third baseman Bressoud (who had shifted from shortstop.) Brown followed with a homer to tie the game at 4-4. McDaniel singled and Mets’ reliever Dick Selma got Hal Lanier on a grounder to Hunt to close out the inning. In the top of the seventh, McDaniel held the Mets to a single by Stuart. Selma then retired the side in order in the bottom half.

Stephenson got a bunt single to open the top of the eighth. Bressoud singled and Selma was struck out. Hunt connected for a three-run homer to put the Mets ahead, 7-4. Jones grounded out to second baseman Lanier and a pop-up by Lewis was caught by Hart to end the inning. Leading off the bottom half, Hart hit his second homer for the Giants’ fifth run of the game. Davenport drew a walk and pinch-hitter Len Gabrielson fouled out to catcher Stephenson. Selma then got Brown to hit a ground ball to shortstop Roy McMillan for a double play that finished off the inning.

McDaniel set down the side 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Cap Peterson doubled against Selma with one out in the bottom half. Mets’ reliever Gordon Richardson retired pinch-hitter Bob Barton on a fly ball to center fielder Jones. New York’s Dennis Ribant then struck out Mays to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.