May 30, 1986: The Dropped Pop-Up

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Date: May 30, 1986
Mets starter: Bruce Berenyi
Mets: 8
Giants: 7
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): George Foster, Ray Knight, Jose Uribe
Key play: Knight's sacrifice fly in 10th, Uribe's error

The Mets faced the Giants on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. The teams staged an early hitting battle and eventually went to extra innings. The Mets came out on top, 8-7, when Rafael Santana's 10th inning pop-up was dropped and allowed the winning run to score.

The Mets got out to a 3-0 first inning lead against San Francisco starter Mike LaCoss. Len Dykstra led off with a single and Wally Backman walked. Keith Hernandez followed with a single to score Dykstra. Backman later came home on George Foster's ground out and Ray Knight singled to bring in Darryl Strawberry from second base. The Giants got a run in the top of the second on Jose Uribe's single that scored Luis Quinones.

In the third, San Francisco took a 4-3 lead with four singles off Mets' starter Bruce Berenyi. Jeffrey Leonard drove home Mike Aldrete with one hit and Chili Davis brought home Bob Brenly and Leonard with another one. Reliever Rick Aguilera finished the inning before Foster hit a two-run homer off LaCoss in the bottom half to regain the lead for the Mets.

Knight's sacrifice fly against Giants' reliever Bill Laskey scored Gary Carter in the fifth. In the sixth, Chili Davis homered off Aguilera to cut the Met lead back to a run. San Francisco then tied the game, 6-6, on Will Clark's run-scoring double off Roger McDowell in the top of the eighth.

Robby Thompson led off the tenth inning with a home run off Jesse Orosco to put the Giants ahead, 7-6. In the bottom half, Hernandez and Kevin Mitchell singled off San Francisco relievers Greg Minton and Mark Davis, respectively. Juan Berenguer then threw a wild pitch to advance Hernandez and Mitchell and walked Howard Johnson to load the bases with one out. Knight followed with his second sacrifice fly of the game to score Hernandez with the tying run.

The game appeared to be headed for the 11th when Santana hit a pop fly directly behind second base. Second baseman Thompson called for the ball, but so did shortstop Uribe. Distracted by each other, the Giants' infielders let the ball fall to the ground. Mitchell came home from second on the error charged to Uribe. The Mets had a gifted winning run.