May 7, 1985: Carter Slams Braves

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Date: May 7, 1985
Mets starter: Ron Darling
Mets: 5
Braves: 3
Winning pitcher: Ron Darling
Key player(s): Howard Johnson, Gary Carter
Key play: Johnson’s homer in 6th, Carter’s grand slam in 8th

The Mets faced the Braves on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams played the front half of a two-game series. Gary Carter hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to lift the Mets to a 5-3 win over Atlanta.

Ron Darling and the Braves’ Steve Bedrosian each started the game with four scoreless innings pitched. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Claudell Washington hit a home run to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Darling retired Rafael Ramirez on a ground ball to shortstop Rafael Santana to close out the inning. Bedrosian shut down the Mets in the bottom half and Darling held the Braves to a single by Bob Horner in the top of the sixth. Howard Johnson hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. Bedrosian then got Keith Hernandez on a fly ball to right fielder Washington for the third out.

Darling pitched a scoreless top of the seventh despite singles by Rick Cerone and Washington. Carter singled off Atlanta’s Jeff Dedmon to begin the bottom of the inning. Darryl Strawberry hit into a force play and stole second base. George Foster hit a grounder to third baseman Horner on which Strawberry was tagged out. Lenny Dykstra (pinch-running for Foster) stole second and Danny Heep drew a walk. Braves’ reliever Zane Smith came in to pitch and struck out pinch-hitter Rusty Staub to end the inning. Gerald Perry singled and stole second to open the top of the eighth. Dale Murphy flied out to right fielder Strawberry. Darling then fanned Horner and Terry Harper for his eighth and ninth strikeouts to finish off the inning.

Smith walked pinch-hitter Mookie Wilson to start the bottom of the eighth. Wally Backman reached on Smith’s error and a sacrifice bunt by Johnson advanced the runners to second and third base. Atlanta reliever Bruce Sutter issued an intentional walk to Hernandez to load the bases. Carter hit a grand slam that put the Mets ahead, 5-1. Strawberry grounded out to shortstop Ramirez. Sutter then retired Dykstra on a fly ball to left fielder Brad Komminsk for the third out of the inning.

Ken Oberkfell opened the top of the ninth with a single off Mets’ reliever Jesse Orosco. Cerone hit a single and Komminsk singled to drive home Oberkfell. Orosco struck out Washington and gave up a single to Ramirez that scored Cerone. Perry got the Braves’ fifth single of the inning to load the bases and Murphy went down on strikes. Orosco then retired Paul Zuvella on a pop-up to shortstop Backman (who had shifted from second an inning earlier) to end the game. The Mets had a victory to begin the two-game set.