May 24, 1981: Mets Defeat Cardinals in 10 Innings

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Date: May 24, 1981
Mets starter: Mike Scott
Mets: 3
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Neil Allen
Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, John Stearns, Keith Hernandez
Key play: Mazzilli’s and Hernandez’s home runs, Stearns’ double

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored twice in the 10th inning for a 3-1 win.

Mike Scott and the Cards’ Bob Shirley each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. Leading off the top of the fifth, Lee Mazzilli homered for a 1-0 Mets lead. John Stearns popped out to shortstop Mike Ramsey and a fly ball by Hubie Brooks was caught by right fielder George Hendrick. Doug Flynn hit a single and Shirley struck out Scott to end the inning. To begin the bottom half, Ken Oberkfell drew a walk. Oberkfell stole second base and Gene Tenace went down on strikes. On Ramsey’s ensuing single, Oberkfell was out at home via a throw by second baseman Flynn to catcher Stearns. Scott then retired Shirley on a ground ball to third baseman Brooks for the inning’s final out.

Scott and Shirley each pitched scoreless ball from the sixth inning to the eighth. Cardinals’ reliever Bruce Sutter (amid a rain delay) hurled a perfect top of the ninth and Keith Hernandez hit a game-tying home run to open the bottom of the inning. Hendrick was retired on a foul pop-up to first baseman Mike Jorgensen. Dane Iorg grounded out to Jorgensen and a double by Oberkfell ensued. Scott was then replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Neil Allen, who fanned Tenace to close out the inning and send the game onward.

Mazzilli hit a triple to begin the top of the 10th. Stearns doubled to drive home Mazzilli and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. On Brooks’ ensuing single, Ramsey made an error that allowed Stearns to score the third New York run of the game. Brooks moved to third base on Flynn’s ground out to second baseman Herr. With Allen at the plate, Hubie was caught by catcher Teance’s pickoff throw and tagged out by third baseman Oberkfell. Allen followed with a triple to left field. Sutter then retired Mookie Wilson on a grounder to Oberkfell that ended the inning.

Ramsey got an infield single to lead off the bottom of the 10th. Pinch-hitter Steve Braun drew a walk and Herr hit a ground ball to Jorgensen for a double play. Allen then got Tony Scott on a grounder to Flynn for the final out of the game. The Mets had a series-ending victory.