May 7, 1972: Mets Come Back for Extra Inning Win

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Date: May 7, 1972
Mets starter: Gary Gentry
Mets: 8
Padres: 6
Winning pitcher: Tug McGraw
Key player(s): Ted Martinez, Tug McGraw, Tommie Agee
Key play: Martinez’s two singles, Agee’s single and home run

The Mets faced the Padres on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets came from behind for an 8-6 win in 10 innings over San Diego.

Derrel Thomas led off the top of the first inning with a double to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Enzo Hernandez advanced Thomas to third base. Leron Lee drew a walk and a force play grounder by Nate Colbert scored Thomas with the first run of the game. Mets’ starter Gary Gentry retired Ollie Brown on a fly ball to center fielder Tommie Agee to end the inning. The Mets were then shut down by Padres’ starter Fred Norman in the bottom half.

Gentry struck out Fred Kendall to begin the top of the second. Johnny Jeter homered to stretch the San Diego lead to 2-0. Dave Campbell flied out to right fielder Rusty Staub and a strikeout of Norman closed out the inning. The Mets were set down in order in the bottom half. Gentry and Norman then pitched a perfect third inning and followed up with a scoreless fourth.

Norman singled with one out in the top of the fifth inning. Thomas hit his first major league homer for a 4-0 Padres lead. Hernandez flied out to Agee and a triple by Lee ensued. Gentry got Colbert on an inning-ending fly ball to Agee and a single by Jerry Grote opened the bottom half. Norman then set down the next three Mets batters.

Kendall got a one-out single off Mets’ reliever Buzz Capra in the top of the sixth. Jeter followed with his second home run of the game to increase the San Diego lead to 6-0. Campbell singled and Norman flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones. With Thomas at bat, Campbell was caught stealing for the third out. The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the inning. Capra and Norman each pitched a scoreless seventh. Mets’ reliever Chuck Taylor then shut down the Padres in the top of the eighth.

Ted Martinez opened the bottom of the eighth inning with a single to center field. Agee doubled and Staub reached on an error by Norman that brought home Martinez. Jones hit a single to score Agee with the Mets’ second run. A double by Jim Fregosi off San Diego’s Gary Ross drove in Staub. Facing reliever Mike Caldwell, Ed Kranepool hit a sacrifice fly to plate Jones from third. Grote grounded out to shortstop Hernandez. Pinch-hitter Duffy Dyer doubled to drive home Fregosi and reduce the Padres’ lead to 6-5. Caldwell then retired Bud Harrelson on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Tug McGraw set down all three San Diego hitters in the top of the ninth. Martinez singled and went to second on left fielder Lee’s error to begin the bottom half. Agee hit a single to center field that scored Martinez with the tying run. Staub’s sacrifice bunt moved Agee to second and Padres’ reliever Mike Corkins retired Jones on a line drive to right fielder Brown. Fregosi drew a walk and reliever Mark Schaeffer issued a walk to Kranepool to load the bases. San Diego’s Ed Acosta then got Grote on an inning-ending force play grounder to Hernandez.

McGraw retired the Padres 1-2-3 in the top of the 10th inning. With one out in the bottom half, Harrelson reached second on a double-error by Hernandez. Acosta got Martinez on a pop-up to Hernandez for the second out. Agee followed with a two-run homer to end the game. The Mets had an amazing comeback victory.