May 23, 1982: Jones Shuts Out Astros on Four Hits

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Date: May 23, 1982
Mets starter: Randy Jones
Mets: 2
Astros: 0
Winning pitcher: Randy Jones
Key player(s): Randy Jones, Wally Backman
Key play: Backman’s RBI single, Niekro’s wild pitch

The Mets faced the Astros on a Sunday afternoon in Houston. The teams completed a three-game series at the Astrodome with a two-hour and 28-minute finale. Randy Jones pitched a complete game four-hitter as the Mets came out with a 2-0 win.

Jones and Astros’ starter Joe Niekro each allowed a walk and no hits through the first two innings of the game. In the top of the third, Tom Veryzer led off with a single and moved to second base on Jones’ sacrifice bunt. Veryzer went to third on Mookie Wilson’s ground out to second baseman Phil Garner. A single by Wally Backman scored Veryzer for a 1-0 Mets lead. Niekro issued walks to George Foster and Dave Kingman and threw a wild pitch on which Backman came home. Joel Youngblood was hit by a pitch and Ron Hodges grounded out to Garner for the third out. Jones then shut down Houston despite first baseman Kingman’s error and a single by Tony Scott in the bottom of the inning.

From the fourth inning to the seventh, Jones and Niekro pitched shutout ball and allowed three hits apiece. For the Mets, Wilson and Veryzer got singles in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively, and Backman singled in the seventh. A fourth inning double by Danny Heep and singles by Luis Pujols and Jose Cruz over the next two innings were all the Astros got against Jones. Houston reliever Frank LaCorte retired the Mets in order in the top of the eighth. Jones set down the Astros 1-2-3 in the bottom half. In the top of the ninth inning, Randy got a two-out single and Wilson drew a walk. LaCorte then got Ron Gardenhire to hit into a force play and end the inning.

Jones retired Garner on a ground ball to shortstop Gardenhire to begin the bottom of the ninth. Heep took a called third strike for the second out of the inning. Randy then got Kiko Garcia on a fly ball to left fielder Foster to end the game. The Mets had a victory on Jones’ four-hit shutout.

Notes

  • The shutout was Jones’ only one as a Met and last of his major league career.