May 20, 1968: Charles' Homers Beat Pirates

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Date: May 20, 1968
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 2
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Ed Charles, Jerry Koosman
Key play: Charles' 2 home runs

The Mets played the Pirates on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. It was a pitchers duel between Jerry Koosman and Pittsburgh's Bob Veale that lasted two hours and forty-one minutes. The Mets emerged with a 2-1 win on Ed Charles' second home run of the game in the ninth inning.

Koosman and Veale began the game with three scoreless innings apiece. Jerry struck out six Pirate batters (five of them consecutively) while allowing only one hit. The Mets, meanwhile, failed to score despite getting four hits off Veale. Koosman shut down the Bucs again in the top of the fourth and the Mets took a 1-0 lead on Charles' solo homer in the bottom of the inning.

For Pittsburgh, Donn Clendenon doubled to lead off the top of the fifth. Koosman struck out Jose Pagan before giving up a single to Bill Mazeroski that scored Clendenon with the tying run. Jerry May grounded out and Veale struck out to end the inning. The Mets were then retired in order by Veale in the bottom half.

Neither team scored from the sixth inning to the eighth. Koosman held down the Pirates, allowing only a single to Maury Wills. Veale gave up no hits to the Mets and retired seven batters in a row. With one out in the top of the ninth, Koosman caught Clendenon's line drive and threw to shortstop Bud Harrelson to double up Manny Mota for the final outs of the inning.

Charles led off the bottom of the ninth for the Mets. Ed hit his second homer off Veale to end the game. The Mets had a dramatic victory to send the Shea crowd home happy.