October 21, 1986: Game Three of the World Series

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Date: October 21, 1986
Mets starter: Bob Ojeda
Mets: 7
Red Sox: 1
Winning pitcher: Bob Ojeda
Key player(s): Bob Ojeda, Len Dykstra, Gary Carter
Key play: Dykstra's leadoff home run, Heep's single after rundown

The Mets and Red Sox played the third game of the World Series on a Tuesday night in Boston. Down two games in the Series, the Mets aimed for a comeback at historic Fenway Park. A four-run first inning propelled the Mets to a 7-1 win over the Sox.

Against Red Sox’ starter Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, Lenny Dykstra hit a home run to lead off the game. Wally Backman singled and advanced to third base on an ensuing single by Keith Hernandez. Gary Carter hit a double to score Backman and send Hernandez to third. Boyd fanned Darryl Strawberry for the first out of the inning. Ray Knight followed with a ground ball to third baseman Wade Boggs. On the play, both Hernandez and Carter escaped rundowns as Knight reached first to load the bases. Danny Heep hit a single to center field to bring home Hernandez and Carter for a 4-0 Mets lead. Boyd struck out Mookie Wilson and retired Rafael Santana on an inning-ending grounder to Boggs. Mets’ starter Bob Ojeda then pitched a perfect bottom half.

After a scoreless second inning, Boyd set down the Mets in order in the top of the third. Dave Henderson opened the bottom of the inning with a single to left field. Spike Owen lined out to third baseman Knight and a walk to Boggs ensued. Marty Barrett singled to score Henderson with the first Boston run. Ojeda struck out Bill Buckner and got Jim Rice to on a force play grounder to shortstop Santana to end the inning. Boyd and Ojeda each hurled a perfect fourth and Dykstra singled to begin the top of the fifth. Boyd retired the next three New York batters and Boggs singled with two outs in the bottom half. Barrett followed with a single to center field. Ojeda then got Buckner to hit a grounder to Santana for an inning-ending force play.

Boyd and Ojeda each hurled a scoreless sixth inning. With one out in the top of the seventh, Santana singled to center field. Dykstra hit a single and Backman flied out to left fielder Rice. Hernandez drew a walk to load the bases. Carter followed with a single to drive home Santana and Dykstra, increasing the Mets’ lead to 6-1. On the hit, Gary was tagged by shortstop Owen in a rundown for the third out of the inning. Ojeda then retired all three Red Sox batters in the bottom half.

Leading off the top of the eighth, Strawberry hit a single off Boston reliever Joe Sambito. Darryl moved to second base on Sambito’s wild pitch and to third on a passed ball by catcher Rich Gedman. Knight doubled to score Strawberry with the Mets’ seventh run of the game. Reliever Bob Stanley retired the next three New York batters to close out the inning. For the Mets, Roger McDowell set down the Sox 1-2-3 in the bottom half. Dykstra singled for his fourth hit to start the top of the ninth. Backman hit into a force play and moved to second on a single by Hernandez. Stanley then got Carter on a ground ball to Owen for an inning-ending double play.

Don Baylor grounded out to Knight to begin the bottom of the ninth. Dwight Evans flied out to right fielder Strawberry. McDowell then retired Gedman on a grounder to second baseman Backman for the final out of the game. The Mets had their first win of the Series.