September 18, 1981: Orosco's First Save

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Date: September 18, 1981
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 8
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Ed Lynch
Key player(s): Hubie Brooks, Doug Flynn, Jesse Orosco
Key play: Brooks' triple, Flynn's singles

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Friday night at Shea Stadium. Each team had 10 hits in the game, but the Mets got eight of theirs in the first and eighth innings to score a total of eight runs. Jesse Orosco pitched three scoreless innings to record his first major league save in the Mets' 8-1 win.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Mets scored four times against St. Louis starter Bob Shirley. Mookie Wilson led off with a single and went to second base when John Stearns reached on an error. Hubie Brooks followed with a triple to score Wilson and Stearns for a 2-0 Mets lead. With one out, Dave Kingman doubled to bring home Brooks with another run. Shirley was replaced by Luis DeLeon, who gave up a single to Doug Flynn on which Kimgman scored. The Mets' four-run lead stayed intact through five innings as Ed Lynch shut down the Cards on five hits.

For St. Louis, George Hendrick doubled off Lynch with one out in the sixth inning. Hendrick moved to third base on Lynch's wild pitch and came home on Dane Iorg's ground out. Lynch retired Ken Oberkfell to end the inning and Cardinals' reliever Bob Sykes shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Orosco came in to pitch for the Mets in the top of the seventh inning. Jesse struck out Darrell Porter to lead off and shut down the Redbirds despite two singles. Orosco followed up by retiring St. Louis without a run in the eighth.

Wilson singled off the Cards' Jim Otten to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. Mookie stole second base and went to third on Stearns' bunt single. Brooks singled to score Wilson and advance Stearns to third. The Mets then loaded the bases with one out and Jim Kaat came in to pitch for St. Louis.

Batting righthanded against the lefthanded Kaat, Lee Mazzilli grounded out as Stearns came home with the Mets' sixth run of the game. Flynn followed with a single on which Brooks and Kingman scored. Kaat then got Ron Gardenhire on a fly ball to right fielder Sixto Lexcano for the third out of the inning.

Orosco struck out Porter and Lezcano for the first two outs in the ninth. He then gave up a single to Tito Landrum and got Tommy Herr on a force play grounder to end the game. The Mets had a victory as Jesse got the first save of his major league career.