May 4, 1968: Charles' 5 RBIs Lead Mets to Victory

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Date: May 4, 1968
Mets starter: Dick Selma
Mets: 7
Cubs: 3
Winning pitcher: Dick Selma
Key player(s): Ed Charles, Dick Selma
Key play: Charles’ single and home run

The Mets faced the Cubs on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams began a three-game series after a rainout the previous night. Ed Charles drove in five runs to lead the Mets to a 7-3 win over Chicago.

Mets’ starter Dick Selma retired the Cubs in order in the top of the first inning. Phil Linz drew a one-out walk in the bottom half. An ensuing double by Cleon Jones scored Linz to put the Mets ahead, 1-0. Ron Swoboda flied out to center fielder Adolfo Phillips. Chicago starter Ken Holtzman then got Greg Goossen on an inning-ending foul pop-up to third baseman Ron Santo.

Santo walked to lead off the top of the second. Ernie Banks went down on strikes and a home run by Randy Hundley gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead. Selma fanned Jose Arcia and got Phillips to ground out to shortstop Bud Harrelson. Holtzman pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning and Selma set down all three batters in the top of the third. The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half. Chicago reliever Jack Lamabe issued a walk to Charles to force home Linz with the tying run. Harrelson then hit a fly ball to left fielder Billy Williams for the third out.

Selma and Lamabe each pitched a perfect fourth inning. Dick set down the side 1-2-3 again in the top of the fifth. The Mets had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the inning. Charles hit a single to center field to bring home Swoboda and Goossen for a 4-2 Mets lead. Cubs’ reliever Chuck Hartenstein retired Harrelson on a grounder back to the mound and fanned Selma for the third out. With one out in the top of the sixth, Lou Johnson was hit by a pitch and Glenn Beckert singled to right field. Selma struck out Williams and got Santo on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Swoboda. Hartenstein then set down the Mets in order in the bottom half.

Selma retired the Cubs 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Chicago’s Phil Regan walked Jerry Grote with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Charles followed with a two-run homer (his fourth and fifth RBIs) to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Regan threw a called third strike past Harrelson for the third out and Selma pitched a perfect top of the eighth. Dick hit a double to lead off the bottom half and moved to third base on Tommie Agee’s sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Ken Boswell scored Selma for the Mets’ seventh run. Regan then struck out Jones to end the inning.

Beckert singled to open the top of the ninth. Williams flied out to center fielder Agee and an error by second baseman Boswell allowed Santo to reach base. Banks hit a single to drive home Beckert and Mets’ reliever Cal Koonce came in to pitch. Koonce got Hundley to hit a ground ball to third baseman Charles for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a victory to start the series.