May 31, 1970: Mets Wallop Astros in DH Opener

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Date: May 31, 1970
Mets starter: Ray Sadecki
Mets: 14
Astros: 4
Winning pitcher: Ray Sadecki
Key player(s): Ron Swoboda, Art Shamsky, Ray Sadecki
Key play: Swoboda’s two home runs, Shamsky’s two-run single

The Mets and Astros faced each other in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played a two-hour and 57-minute opener of the twinbill at Shea Stadium. Each player in the Mets starting lineup scored at least one run in a 14-4 win over Houston.

Mets’ starter Ray Sadecki pitched a perfect top of the first inning. Bud Harrelson drew a walk with one out in the bottom half. Cleon Jones went down on strikes and Ron Swoboda homered for a 2-0 Mets lead. Art Shamsky reached on an error by second baseman Joe Morgan. Astros’ starter Denny Lemaster then threw a called third strike past Joe Foy to end the inning.

Sadecki and Lemaster each pitched scoreless ball from the second inning to the fourth. Sadecki yielded only a double to Bob Watson in the top of the fifth and Al Weis doubled to begin the bottom half. Sadecki reached on a fielder’s choice bunt that sent Weis to third and Tommie Agee was called out on strikes. Harrelson singled to drive home Weis and a wild pitch put Mets runners at second and third. Jones drew a walk to load the bases and Houston reliever Jim Ray walked Swoboda to force home Sadecki. Shamsky hit a single to score Harrelson and Jones with Swoboda advancing to third. An ensuing sacrifice fly by Foy plated Swoboda with the Mets’ seventh run of the game. Ray then got Duffy Dyer on a force play ground ball to shortstop Denis Menke that ended the inning.

Morgan got a bunt single with one out in the top of the sixth. Jim Wynn hit a two-run homer and Tommy Davis followed with a single. Menke singled and Doug Rader hit a grounder to shortstop Harrelson for an inning-ending double play. To open the bottom half, Weis singled and went to second base on Sadecki’s sacrifice bunt. Agee homered for a 9-2 Mets lead and Harrelson grounded out to third baseman Rader. Jones hit a single and Ray fanned Swoboda to close out the inning. Sadecki then limited the Astros to a single by Don Bryant in a scoreless top of the seventh.

Shamsky singled against Houston reliever Jim Bouton to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Foy drew a walk and Dyer doubled to drive home Shamsky. Weis grounded back to Bouton and a single by Sadecki brought home Foy and Dyer for a 12-2 Mets lead. Bouton was replaced on the mound by reliever Scipio Spinks, who got Agee to hit a force play grounder to Menke. Spinks then struck out Harrelson to end the inning.

Wynn reached on an error by third baseman Foy with one out in the top of the eighth. Davis hit a two-run homer and Menke flied out to right fielder Swoboda. Sadecki retired Rader on an inning-ending ground ball to first baseman Mike Jorgensen and a triple by Jones began the bottom half. Swoboda followed with his second homer for the Mets’ thirteenth and fourteenth runs of the game. Jorgensen grounded out to first baseman Watson and consecutive walks to Foy and Dyer ensued. Spinks was relieved by the Astros’ Jack DiLauro, who retired Weis on a fly ball to right fielder Jesus Alou. DiLauro then got pinch-hitter Ed Kranepool to ground out to Watson and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Ron Taylor retired Watson on a ground ball to shortstop Weis (who had shifted from second base) to start the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Keith Lampard doubled to center field and pinch-hitter Norm Miller popped out to second baseman Wayne Garrett. Taylor then got Alou to ground out to Garrett and end the game. The Mets had begun the doubleheader with a solid victory.