May 8, 1966: Ribant Five-Hits Cubs

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Date: May 8, 1966
Mets starter: Dennis Ribant
Mets: 5
Cubs: 1
Winning pitcher: Dennis Ribant
Key player(s): Dennis Ribant, Johnny Lewis, Jim Hickman, Ed Bressoud
Key play: Hickman’s home run, Bressoud’s triple, Lewis’s single

The Mets faced the Cubs in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon at Shea Stadium. After dropping the opener of the twinbill, the Mets aimed for a split in the second game. Dennis Ribant pitched a five-hitter in a 5-1 Mets win over Chicago.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Billy Williams hit a home run to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Ribant retired Ron Santo on a fly ball to center fielder Cleon Jones for the third out and Chicago starter Bill Hands hurled a perfect bottom half. Dennis set down all three Cubs batters in the top of the second and Hands retired the Mets in order again in the bottom of the inning. Ribant then pitched a perfect top of the third.

Jim Hickman homered to lead off the bottom of the third inning. John Stephenson hit a single and advanced to second base on Ribant’s sacrifice bunt. Ron Hunt lined out to center fielder Byron Browne and a triple by Ed Bressoud scored Stephenson for a 2-1 Mets lead. Ken Boyer singled to drive home Bressoud with the third New York run and Hands was replaced on the mound by Chicago reliever Billy Connors. Jones greeted Connors with a single to advance Boyer to third. Cleon stole second and Ed Kranepool drew a walk that loaded the bases. Johnny Lewis followed with a single that plated Boyer and Jones with the fourth and fifth Mets runs of the inning. Cubs’ reliever Ted Abernathy then retired Hickman on a ground ball to shortstop Don Kessinger to finish off the inning.

Ribant and Abernathy each hurled scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Glenn Beckert hit a two-out triple in the top of the sixth. George Altman grounded out to second baseman Hunt to end the inning and Abernathy set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Ribant held the Cubs to a single by Browne in the top of the seventh and Bressoud singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Abernathy then got Boyer on a pop-up to third baseman Santo for the inning’s third out.

Kessinger hit a single with one out in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Jimmy Stewart singled for the Cubs’ fifth hit of the game. Beckert grounded out to first baseman Kranepool to move the runners to second and third base. Ribant threw a called third strike past Altman to close out the inning. Chicago reliever Billy Hoeft then struck out the side in order in the bottom half.

Williams grounded out to shortstop Bressoud to lead off the top of the ninth. Santo was also retired on a grounder to Bressoud. Ribant then got Browne on a ground ball back to the mound for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory on Dennis’s five-hitter and a split of the doubleheader.