October 4, 1986: Mets Beat Bucs for DH Sweep

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Date: October 4, 1986
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 5
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Kevin Mitchell, Ray Knight, Rafael Santana
Key play: Mitchell’s and Knight’s singles in 1st, Santana’s single in 4th

The Mets and Pirates faced each other in a doubleheader on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. After winning the opener of the twinbill, the Mets aimed for a sweep in the second game. A total of fourteen hits led the way for a 5-2 Mets win over Pittsburgh.

Mets’ starter Rick Aguilera retired the side on three straight outfield fly balls in the top of the first inning. Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter got back-to-back singles against the Bucs’ Bob Patterson with two outs in the bottom half. Kevin Mitchell singled to drive home Hernandez and a single by Ray Knight plated Carter for a 2-0 Mets lead. On Knight’s hit, Mitchell got caught between bases and was tagged by shortstop U. L. Washington for the third out.

Aguilera pitched a scoreless top of the second. Stan Jefferson opened the bottom of the inning with a double to right field. Rafael Santana lined out to second baseman Johnny Ray, who threw to Washington for an out on Jefferson and a double play. Aguilera flied out to right fielder Benny Distefano to end the inning and retired the side in order in the top of the third. Patterson then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Ray homered for the Pirates’ first run with one out in the top of the fourth. Aguilera retired the next two batters to close out the inning and Mitchell hit a leadoff single in the bottom half. Knight singled and Jefferson followed with an infield single that loaded the bases. Santana hit a single to drive home Mitchell and Knight, increasing the Mets’ lead to 4-1. Aguilera flied out to Distefano and an intentional walk to Mookie Wilson loaded the bases once again. Tim Teufel was retired on a fly ball to left fielder Joe Orsulak. Patterson then got Hernandez on a grounder to first baseman Sid Bream to finish off the inning.

Distefano reached on an error by second baseman Teufel to begin the top of the fifth. Junior Ortiz hit a single and Washington’s ground out to Aguilera moved the runners to second and third base. Pinch-hitter Mike Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly to score Distefano. Aguilera retired Orsulak on a pop-up to shortstop Santana for the inning’s final out. Carter singled against Pittsburgh reliever Bob Walk to lead off the bottom half. Mitchell hit a force play grounder to third baseman Bobby Bonilla. Knight was hit by a pitch and Jefferson drew a walk to load the bases. Santana followed with a grounder on which Bonilla threw to catcher Ortiz for an out at home on Mitchell. Ortiz then threw to Bream to complete an inning-ending double play.

Mets’ reliever Randy Niemann yielded only a single to Ray in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Lenny Dykstra singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Wilson hit a force play grounder to Bream and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Teufel drew a walk and Hernandez singled to drive home Wilson with the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Walk was replaced on the mound by Bucs’ reliever Ray Krawczyk, who recorded a strikeout of Carter. Krawczyk then retired Mitchell on a line drive to Distefano for the inning’s final out.

Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell retired all three Pittsburgh batters on infield ground balls in the top of the seventh inning. Knight led off the bottom half with a single to center field. Jefferson went down on strikes and Santana lined out to Distefano. Dykstra drew a walk and Krawczyk got McDowell on an inning-ending grounder to Bream. Roger pitched a perfect top of the eighth and Teufel got a double (the Mets’ fourteenth hit) against the Pirates’ Don Robinson to begin the bottom half. Dave Magadan drew a walk and Teufel went to third base on pinch-hitter John Gibbons’ fly out to Distefano. Robinson then struck out Mitchell and got Knight on a foul fly ball to Distefano that ended the inning.

Ray drew a walk to lead off the top of the ninth. McDowell got Bream on a fly ball to right fielder Mitchell and retired Barry Bonds on a grounder to third baseman Knight. Roger then got Distefano to ground out to first baseman Magadan and end the game. The Mets had a victory and a sweep of the doubleheader.