October 1, 1972: Seven-Run Burst Beats Bucs

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Date: October 1, 1972
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 7
Pirates: 3
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Ed Kranepool, John Milner, Bill Sudakis, Ted Martinez
Key play: Mets’ RBI singles, Martinez’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. The Mets erupted for seven runs in the first three innings and defeated the Bucs, 7-3.

Wayne Garrett led off the top of the first with a walk against Pirates’ starter Steve Blass. Ken Boswell flied out to right fielder Rennie Stennett and a double by Tommie Agee followed. Ed Kranepool singled to drive home Garrett and advanced to second base on a throw. Cleon Jones grounded out to third baseman Richie Hebner to score Agee and move Kranepool to third. John Milner hit a single to bring home Kranepool for a three-run Mets lead. Pittsburgh reliever Bob Miller retired Bill Sudakis on a ground ball to first baseman Willie Stargell for the third out. Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman then pitched a perfect bottom half.

Miller surrendered only a walk to Garrett in the top of the second. Koosman struck out the side in a scoreless bottom of the inning and Kranepool drew a one-out walk in the top of the third. Jones popped out to Stargell and a single by Milner sent Kranepool to third base. Sudakis hit a single to plate Kranepool with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Ted Martinez followed with a home run to increase the New York lead to 7-0. Miller threw a called third strike past Koosman to close out the inning. Jerry then yielded just a single to Gene Alley in the bottom half.

Koosman and Pittsburgh reliever Luke Walker each pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Walker set down the side in order in the top of the sixth and Stennett got a one-out single in the bottom half. Bob Robertson slugged a homer to reduce the Mets’ lead to 7-2. Manny Sanguillen was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Milner. Richie Zisk grounded back to Koosman for the inning’s final out and consecutive singles by Agee and Kranepool opened the top of the seventh. Jones hit a ground ball back to Walker for a double play. Walker then struck out Milner to end the inning.

Hebner doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Alley grounded out to shortstop Martinez to advance Hebner to third base. Pinch-hitter Gene Clines drew a walk and Bill Mazeroski hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Hebner with the Bucs’ third run. Koosman fanned Al Oliver to close out the inning and Pirates’ reliever Dave Giusti hurled a perfect top of the eighth. Stennett singled to open the bottom half. Robertson and Sanguillen were retired on outfield fly balls and Zisk hit a single. Koosman then struck out Hebner to finish off the inning.

Giusti set down the Mets on three straight outfield flies in the top of the ninth. Alley was retired on a fly ball to Milner to begin the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Jose Pagan flied out to center fielder Agee and a single by Dave Cash ensued. Koosman then got Oliver on a fly ball to Milner for the final out of the game. The Mets had a series-closing victory.