September 13, 1969: Swoboda's Slam Gives Mets 10th Straight

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Date: September 13, 1969
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 5
Pirates: 2
Winning pitcher: Tom Seaver
Key player(s): Tom Seaver, Ron Swoboda
Key play: Swoboda’s grand slam

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The teams played the third of four games in a series at Forbes Field. Ron Swoboda hit a grand slam to lift the Mets to a 5-2 victory over the Bucs and extend their winning streak to ten games.

Tom Seaver and the Pirates’ Luke Walker each hurled two scoreless innings to start the game. Walker shut down the Mets again in the top of the third and a walk to Freddie Patek opened the bottom half. Patek advanced to second base on Walker’s sacrifice bunt and Matty Alou grounded out to third baseman Ed Charles. Gene Alley drew a walk and Willie Stargell singled to score Patek for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead. Seaver then got Roberto Clemente on a ground ball to second baseman Al Weis for the inning’s final out.

Seaver and Walker each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Charles drew a one-out walk and moved to third base on a single by Jerry Grote. Weis followed with a force play grounder to second baseman Alley that drove home Charles with the tying run. Walker retired Seaver on a ground ball to third baseman Richie Hebner that closed out the inning. Tom then set down the Pirates in order in the bottom half.

Bud Harrelson drew a walk against Walker to lead off the top of the eighth. Amos Otis’s sacrifice bunt advanced Harrelson to second base and a walk to Tommie Agee followed. With Bucs’ reliever Chuck Hartenstein on the mound facing Donn Clendenon, a passed ball by catcher Manny Sanguillen moved Harrelson to third and Agee to second. Clendenon was walked intentionally to load the bases and Swoboda came to bat. Ron slugged a grand slam to put the Mets ahead, 5-1. Charles grounded out to shortstop Patek and an error by Alley allowed Grote to reach base. Hartenstein then retired Weis on a foul fly ball to left fielder Stargell to end the inning.

Clemente singled to begin the bottom of the eighth. Al Oliver flied out to center fielder Agee and a force play ground ball by Sanguillen (to Charles) ensued. Hebner drew a walk and pinch-hitter Carl Taylor hit a single that scored Sanguillen. Seaver retired pinch-hitter Jose Pagan on an inning-ending foul pop-up to catcher Grote. Pittsburgh reliever Bruce Dal Canton then hurled a scoreless top of the ninth.

Alou hit a single to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Alley followed with a grounder to Charles for a double play. Seaver then got Stargell to ground out to Weis and end the game. The Mets had their tenth consecutive win.