May 25, 1978: Randle's Single in 11th Beats Bucs

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Date: May 25, 1978
Mets starter: Craig Swan
Mets: 3
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Dale Murray
Key player(s): Willie Montanez, Lenny Randle, Dale Murray
Key play: Montanez’s double, Randle’s single in 11th

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Thursday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. Lenny Randle hit a run-scoring single in the 11th inning to give the Mets a 3-2 win over the Bucs.

Pirates’ starter Bert Blyleven pitched a scoreless top of the first. Frank Taveras doubled against the Mets’ Craig Swan to lead off the bottom half. Omar Moreno grounded out to second baseman Doug Flynn to advance Taveras to third base. Taveras came home on Dave Parker’s ground out to first baseman Willie Montanez for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead. Swan then retired Rennie Stennett on a ground ball to Flynn for the third out.

Swan and Blyleven each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Blyleven set down the side in order in the top of the fifth and Steve Brye hit a double to begin the bottom half. Ed Ott grounded out to Montanez and an intentional walk to Phil Garner ensued. Blyleven reached on a fielder’s choice grounder to score Ott and move Garner to second base. Garner stole third and Taveras walked to load the bases. Moreno was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Lee Mazzilli. Swan then got Parker to fly out to left fielder Steve Henderson and finish off the inning.

Randle singled to begin the top of the sixth. Elliott Maddox hit a force play grounder to first baseman Willie Stargell and a single by Mazzilli followed. Henderson went down on strikes and Montanez doubled to drive home Maddox and Mazzilli, tying the game at 2-2. Blyleven fanned Ron Hodges to close out the inning. Swan then retired the Pirates in order in the bottom half.

Blyleven held the Mets to a single by Swan in the top of the seventh. Craig yielded only a single to Ott in the bottom of the inning and Pittsburgh reliever Bruce Kison gave up just a single to Mazzilli in the top of the eighth. Swan limited the Bucs to a double by Parker in the bottom half and Hodges got a one-out single off Kison in the top of the ninth. Tim Foli hit a double and Pirates’ reliever Grant Jackson walked pinch-hitter Joel Youngblood intentionally to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Tom Grieve was retired on a pop-up to Stargell. Jackson then got Randle to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Taveras that ended the inning.

Mets’ reliever Dale Murray struck out Stargell to open the bottom of the ninth. Brye singled and advanced to third base on a single by Ott. On his own hit, Ott went to second via a throw. Garner was walked intentionally to load the bases and pinch-hitter Jim Fregosi popped out to Montanez. Murray then got Taveras on a force play grounder to shortstop Foli for the inning’s final out.

Pittsburgh reliever Kent Tekulve hurled a scoreless top of the 10th. Murray shut down the Bucs in the bottom half and reached on an error by third baseman Garner with two outs in the top of the 11th. Dale moved to second base on a wild pitch and came around to score on Randle’s single for a one-run Mets lead. Maddox then grounded back to Tekulve to close out the inning.

Brye grounded out to Foli to lead off the bottom of the 11th. Ott was also retired on a grounder to Foli. Murray then got Garner on another ground ball to Foli for the final out of the game. The Mets had an extra-inning victory to finish off the series.