May 31, 1969: Charles Lifts Mets Over Giants

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Date: May 31, 1969
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 4
Giants: 2
Winning pitcher: Gary Gentry
Key player(s): Ed Charles, Gary Gentry, Tug McGraw
Key play: Charles' home run and single

The Mets faced the Giants on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a series. Ed Charles drove in four runs to lead the Mets to a 4-2 win over San Francisco.

Gary Gentry and the Giants' Gaylord Perry each started the game with three scoreless innings pitched. Ron Hunt got a leadoff single in the top of the fourth. Willie Mays went down on strikes and Willie McCovey slugged a home run. Jim Ray Hart flied out to right fielder Ron Swoboda and a triple by Bobby Bonds ensued. Gentry threw a called third strike past Jack Hiatt to end the inning and Ed Kranepool singled with two outs in the bottom half. Swoboda drew a walk and Charles homered to put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Perry then got Jerry Grote to ground out to second baseman Hunt and finish off the inning.

After setting down the side in order in the top of the fifth, Gentry singled to begin the bottom half. Bud Harrelson hit a single and Tommie Agee was retired on a pop-up to Perry. Wayne Garrett grounded out to Perry and a strikeout of Cleon Jones ended the inning. Gentry issued only a walk to Mays in the top of the sixth and Kranepool singled to lead off the bottom half. Swoboda grounded out to Hunt and an intentional walk to Charles followed. Perry then got Grote to hit a double play ground ball to shortstop Hal Lanier for the inning's final outs.

Gentry shut down the Giants in the top of the seventh. San Francisco reliever Ron Herbel retired all three batters in the bottom half and the Mets' Tug McGraw recorded two strikeouts in a perfect top of the eighth. Garrett hit a single to lead off the bottom of the inning. Jones' sacrifice bunt advanced Garrett to second base and Kranepool was walked intentionally. Swoboda was struck out and Charles singled to bring home Garrett with the Mets' fourth run of the game. Herbel then retired Grote on a fly ball to right fielder Bonds that finished off the inning.

Hart grounded out to shortstop Harrelson to open the top of the ninth. Bonds took a called third strike. McGraw then fanned Tito Fuentes to end the game. The Mets had a solid victory.