May 23, 1980: Burris Leads Win Over Braves

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Date: May 23, 1980
Mets starter: Ray Burris
Mets: 2
Braves: 1
Winning pitcher: Ray Burris
Key player(s): Ray Burris, Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn
Key play: Henderson’s and Flynn’s RBI singles

The Mets faced the Braves on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Ray Burris pitched eight shutout innings in an eventual 2-1 Mets win over Atlanta.

Burris and the Braves’ Rick Matula each hurled three scoreless innings to start the game. Ray gave up just a single to Gary Matthews in the top of the fourth and Frank Taveras doubled to open the bottom half. Mike Jorgensen grounded out to second baseman Jerry Royster and a single by Steve Henderson scored Taveras. Matula then got Joel Youngblood to hit a ground ball back to the mound for a double play that ended the inning.

After scoreless fifth and sixth innings, Burris set down the side in order in the top of the seventh. Henderson singled to lead off the bottom half. Youngblood hit a force play grounder to third baseman Larvelle Blanks and moved to second on John Stearns’ ground out to Royster. Elliott Maddox was given an intentional walk and Doug Flynn singled to bring home Youngblood for a 2-0 Mets lead. Matula then retired Burris on a pop-up to shortstop Luis Gomez for the inning’s final out.

Burris shut down the Braves in the top of the eighth. Atlanta reliever Larry Bradford pitched a scoreless bottom half and Matthews hit a leadoff single in the top of the ninth inning. Chris Chambliss grounded out to second baseman Flynn and an infield single by Brian Asselstine ensued. Burris got Dale Murphy on a called third strike and surrendered a double to Bruce Benedict that drove home Matthews. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen then retired Chico Ruiz on a fly ball to right fielder Youngblood to end the game. The Mets had a series-opening victory.