May 6, 1969: Cardwell Homers, Defeats Reds
|Date: May 6, 1969|
|Mets starter: Don Cardwell|
|Winning pitcher: Don Cardwell|
|Key player(s): Don Cardwell, Wayne Garrett, Cleon Jones|
|Key play: Mets' home runs|
The Mets played the Reds on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The game featured four home runs by the Mets off three Cincinnati pitchers. Don Cardwell pitched a complete game and hit one of the homers en route to an 8-1 Mets win.
Cardwell and the Reds' Jim Maloney each pitched scoreless ball over the first three innings. Don allowed only a single to Alex Johnson and struck out four batters while Maloney gave up a double to Rod Gaspar in the first and a single to Bud Harrelson in the third. Cardwell then pitched a perfect top of the fourth inning, during which he got Johnson for his fifth strikeout of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, Ken Boswell led off with a home run to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Reds responded in the top of the fifth when Lee May homered off Cardwell to tie the game. Maloney retired the Mets in order in the bottom half and Cardwell shut down Cincinnati in the top of the sixth.
Facing reliever Gary Nolan, Wayne Garrett hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Boswell grounded out and Cleon Jones followed with another homer for a 3-1 Mets lead. May led off the top of the seventh with a double, but Cardwell retired the side without a run. The Mets then failed to score against the Reds' Wayne Granger, despite a double by Harrelson and a single by Cardwell in the bottom of the inning.
Cardwell struck out Johnny Bench to end a scoreless top of the eighth. Boswell and Jones singled to lead off the bottom half and Ed Kranepool advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. On Jerry Grote's fielder's choice grounder, Boswell was thrown out at home by second baseman Tommy Helms. After Granger's wild pitch scored Jones from third base, Tommie Agee drew a walk and Harrelson singled to bring home Grote and extend the Mets' lead to 5-1. Cardwell then hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run inning for the Mets.
Don got Helms to ground into a double play for the final two outs in the ninth. The Mets had a victory with an 11-hit attack that included four home runs. Cardwell recorded his first win of the year while contributing to the onslaught with a homer of his own.
- Garrett's home run was the first of his major league career.