May 30, 1968: Five-Run 5th Gives Mets Sweep

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Date: May 30, 1968
Mets starter: Dick Selma
Mets: 5
Pirates: 4
Winning pitcher: Dick Selma
Key player(s): Ron Swoboda, Jerry Grote, Art Shamsky
Key play: Swoboda’s double, Grote’s RBI single, Shamsky’s triple

The Mets faced the Pirates in a doubleheader on a Thursday evening in Pittsburgh. After winning the opener of the twinbill, the Mets went for a sweep in the nightcap. Five runs in the fifth inning produced a 5-4 Mets victory over the Bucs.

Pirates’ starter Bob Veale hurled a scoreless top of the first inning. Matty Alou drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half. A sacrifice bunt by Maury Wills advanced Alou to second base and Willie Stargell homered for a 2-0 Pittsburgh lead. Mets’ starter Dick Selma then threw a called third strike past Roberto Clemente and retired Donn Clendenon on a ground ball to shortstop Al Weis to end the inning.

Veale and Selma each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Don Bosch and Cleon Jones got back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the fifth. Ron Swoboda hit a double to drive home Bosch and Jones with the tying runs and scored on Jerry Grote’s ensuing single. Ed Charles singled and Veale was replaced on the mound by Bucs’ reliever Ron Kline. Art Shamsky greeted Kline with a triple that plated Grote and Charles for a 5-2 Mets lead. Kline got Phil Linz on a called third strike for the inning’s final out. Selma then yielded only a single to Alou in the bottom half.

Pittsburgh’s Bob Moose hurled a scoreless top of the sixth inning. Selma pitched a perfect bottom half and Moose shut down the Mets again in the top of the seventh. Bill Mazeroski singled to open the bottom of the inning. Gene Alley hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Charles and a single by Jerry May ensued. Pinch-hitter Manny Jimenez singled to drive home Alley. Alou followed with a single that scored May with the Pirates’ fourth run and Bill Short came in to pitch for the Mets. Short retired Wills on a fly ball to center fielder Bosch and fanned Willie Stargell for the third out of the inning.

Pirates’ reliever Luke Walker set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. For New York, Cal Koonce pitched a perfect bottom half. Walker shut down the Mets once again in the top of the ninth and pinch-hitter Manny Mota got a two-out single in the bottom of the inning. Alou singled to right field to advance Mota to third base. Al Jackson then took over for Koonce on the mound and got Wills to hit a force play grounder to Weis that ended the game. The Mets had a sweep of the doubleheader.