May 22, 1981: Zachry Five-Hits Cardinals

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Date: May 22, 1981
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 9
Cardinals: 3
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Pat Zachry, John Stearns, Joel Youngblood
Key play: Zachry’s single in 2nd, Mets’ four runs in 3rd, Youngblood’s triple in 4th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night in St. Louis. The teams played the opener of a three-game series at Busch Memorial Stadium. Pat Zachry pitched a five-hit complete game in a 9-3 Mets win over the Redbirds.

Cards’ starter Silvio Martinez hurled a scoreless top of the first inning. Keith Hernandez drew a walk with two outs in the bottom half. Hernandez stole second base and a walk to George Hendrick ensued. Ken Oberkfell tripled to drive home Hernandez and Hendrick for a 2-0 St. Louis lead. Zachry then retired Sixto Lezcano on a ground ball to third baseman Hubie Brooks to end the inning.

Doug Flynn got a two-out single in the top of the second. Flynn advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Zachry. Pat moved to second on a throw to the plate and to third on Mookie Wilson’s single to center field. Wilson stole second and Martinez got Wally Backman on a grounder to shortstop Mike Ramsey to close out the inning.

Orlando Sanchez drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the second. Ramsey singled and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base. Martinez went down on strikes and Tommy Herr grounded out to second baseman Backman to score Sanchez with the Redbirds’ third run of the game. Zachry then retired Tony Scott on a ground ball to shortstop Flynn for the final out of the inning.

Joel Youngblood doubled to open the top of the third. Dave Kingman and Lee Mazzilli followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases. John Stearns hit a single to drive home Youngblood and reduce the Cardinals’ lead to 3-2. Martinez was replaced on the mound by St. Louis reliever Jim Otten, who issued a walk to Brooks that forced home Kingman with the tying run. Flynn hit a double play grounder to Ramsey on which Mazzilli came home to put the Mets ahead. On a wild pitch, Stearns scored the fifth New York run. Otten then retired Zachry on a pop-up to second baseman Herr to finish off the inning.

Hernandez drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third. Hendrick was struck out and Oberkfell singled to advance Hernandez to third base. Lezcano followed with an inning-ending double play grounder to Brooks and a walk to Wilson began the top of the fourth. Backman reached on an error by Otten as Mookie went to second. An ensuing triple by Youngblood scored Wilson and Backman for a 7-3 Mets lead. Kingman went down on strikes and Mazzilli grounded out to first baseman Hernandez. Stearns singled to drive home Youngblood and was out at second via a throw by center fielder Scott to Ramsey to end the inning. Zachry then held the Cards to a single by Sanchez in the bottom half.

Zachry and Redbirds’ reliever Mark Littell each pitched scoreless ball in the fifth and sixth innings. Mazzilli and Stearns drew consecutive one-out walks in the top of the seventh. Brooks was struck out and Flynn singled to score Mazzilli with the Mets’ ninth run of the game. Littell got Zachry on an inning-ending grounder to Hernandez and the Cardinals were set down in order in the bottom half. St. Louis’s Joe Edelen retired all three New York batters on ground balls to Ramsey in the top of the eighth. Zachry then hurled a perfect bottom half.

Edelen held the Mets to a single by Stearns in the top of the ninth. Lezcano singled for the Cards’ fifth hit to lead off the bottom of the inning. Sanchez flied out to center fielder Wilson and a fly ball by Ramsey was caught by left fielder Mazzilli. Zachry then retired pinch-hitter Dane Iorg on a fly ball to right fielder Youngblood to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.