May 28, 1980: Six-Run 8th Stuns Redbirds

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Date: May 28, 1980
Mets starter: Ray Burris
Mets: 6
Cardinals: 5
Winning pitcher: Kevin Kobel
Key player(s): John Stearns, Elliott Maddox, Jose Moreno
Key play: Stearns’ two-run single, Maddox’s double, Moreno’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets scored six runs in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Redbirds.

After a scoreless first, John Stearns singled against Cards’ starter John Fulgham to lead off the top of the second. Steve Henderson got an infield single and Elliott Maddox popped out to shortstop Garry Templeton. Doug Flynn hit a ground ball on which third baseman Ken Reitz threw to second baseman Mike Ramsey for a force out on Henderson. Stearns tried to score after moving to third on the play, but was out via a throw by first baseman Keith Hernandez to catcher Terry Kennedy for an inning-ending double play.

Kennedy drew a walk against Mets’ starter Ray Burris to begin the bottom of the second. Reitz went down on strikes and Ramsey reached on an error by second baseman Flynn. Fulgham was struck out and Templeton singled to drive home Kennedy. Third baseman Maddox made an error on the play, allowing Ramsey to score and Templeton to advance to third. Tony Scott hit a single to bring home Templeton for a 3-0 St. Louis lead. Scott stole second and Burris retired Leon Durham on a grounder to Flynn that closed out the inning.

Fulgham and Burris each pitched scoreless and hitless ball in the third and fourth. The Mets failed to score again in the top of the fifth and Templeton singled to open the bottom half. Scott hit a single to send Templeton to third base and was caught stealing second on catcher Stearns’ throw to shortstop Frank Taveras. Durham reached on first baseman Mazzilli’s error to bring home Templeton and increase the Cardinals’ lead to 4-0. Hernandez was retired on a foul pop-up to Mazzilli. Burris then got Ted Simmons to ground out to Flynn and end the inning.

Fulgham surrendered only a walk to Taveras in the top of the sixth. Kennedy singled against Burris to open the bottom half. Reitz fouled out to Mazzilli and a triple by Ramsey brought home Kennedy with the Redbirds’ fifth run of the game. Mets’ reliever John Pacella struck out both Fulgham and Templeton to finish off the inning. Fulgham shut down the Mets in the top of the seventh and Scott drew a walk against Pacella to begin the bottom half. New York’s Kevin Kobel got Durham to hit a double play grounder to Flynn. Kobel then retired Hernandez on a fly ball to left fielder Henderson to close out the inning.

Cardinals’ reliever Jim Otten struck out pinch-hitter Jose Moreno to start the top of the eighth. Mazzilli and Taveras drew consecutive walks and Mike Jorgensen popped out to Hernandez. Joel Youngblood drew a walk to load the bases and Mark Littell came in to pitch for the Cards. Stearns greeted Littell with a single that brought home both Mazzilli and Taveras. Henderson walked to reload the bases and George Frazier took over on the mound for St. Louis. Maddox connected for a double off Frazier that plated Youngblood, Stearns and Henderson, tying the game at 5-5. Pinch-hitter Ron Hodges drew a walk and Moreno singled to score Maddox for a one-run Mets lead. Redbirds’ reliever Jim Kaat then retired Mazzilli on a fly ball to right fielder Durham for the inning’s third out.

Kennedy got a one-out single against Mets’ reliever Neil Allen in the bottom of the eighth. Mike Phillips flied out to center fielder Jerry Morales and an infield single by pinch-hitter Dane Iorg followed. Pinch-hitter George Hendrick drew a walk to load the bases and Allen retired Templeton on an inning-ending ground ball to Flynn. Cardinals’ reliever Roy Thomas then yielded just a single to Youngblood in the top of the ninth.

A single by Scott began the bottom of the ninth inning. Scott moved to second base on Durham’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Hernandez’s ground out to first baseman Jorgensen. Simmons was given an intentional walk. Allen then retired Bobby Bonds on a fly ball to Morales for the final out of the game. The Mets had a comeback victory to conclude the series.