September 20, 1975: Hodges Homers in 11th

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Date: September 20, 1975
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 9
Phillies: 7
Winning pitcher: Bob Apodaca
Key player(s): Felix Millan, Rusty Staub, Mike Vail, Ron Hodges
Key play: Millan’s double, Staub’s homer, Vail’s throw in 10th, Hodges’ homer

The Mets faced the Phillies on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a three-hour and twenty-nine-minute game that went into extra innings. In the 11th, Ron Hodges hit a two-run homer that gave the Mets a 9-7 win over Philadelphia.

Larry Bowa singled against Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman with one out in the top of the first inning. Mike Schmidt tripled to drive home Bowa with the game’s first run and Greg Luzinski went down on strikes. Koosman retired Dick Allen on a pop-up to shortstop Mike Phillips for the third out and the Phils’ Wayne Simpson pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning. In the top of the second, Jerry Martin hit a one-out triple and scored on Bob Boone’s sacrifice bunt for a 2-0 Phillies lead. Simpson followed with a single to left field. Koosman then got Dave Cash to fly out to center fielder Del Unser and end the inning.

Ed Kranepool and Jerry Grote drew back-to-back walks to begin the bottom of the second. Phillips hit a single to load the bases and Simpson walked Koosman to force home Kranepool. A sacrifice fly by Unser scored Grote to tie the game and Felix Millan flied out to center fielder Martin. Mike Vail singled to bring home Phillips and put the Mets ahead, 3-2. Rusty Staub hit a single against Philadelphia reliever Tom Hilgendorf that loaded the bases once again. Hilgendorf then struck out Dave Kingman to finish off the inning.

With one out in the top of the third, Schmidt and Luzinski slugged consecutive home runs for a 4-3 Phils lead. Koosman got Allen to foul out to first baseman Kranepool and retired Mike Anderson on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Kingman. Grote hit a one-out single in the bottom half. Jerry advanced to second base on a wild pitch and Phillips was struck out. Pinch-hitter Jesus Alou singled and Unser drew a walk to load the bases. Millan hit a double that plated Grote, Alou and Unser to give the Mets a 6-4 lead. Hilgendorf then retired Vail on a grounder to third baseman Schmidt for the inning’s final out.

Boone hit a solo homer against Mets’ reliever Hank Webb with one out in the top of the fourth. Webb got pinch-hitter Mike Rogodzinski to line out to Kranepool and retired Cash on a ground ball to Kingman to close out the inning. Staub singled against the Phillies’ John Montague to lead off the bottom half. Montague retired Kingman on a fly ball to Martin and got Kranepool to hit a grounder back to the mound for an inning-ending double play. New York’s Rick Baldwin hurled a perfect top of the fifth and Grote singled to lead off the bottom half. Phillips hit a single (advancing pinch-runner Gene Clines to second base) and Baldwin’s sacrifice bunt put Mets runners at second and third. Unser was walked intentionally to load the bases. Montague then got Millan on a ground ball to shortstop Bowa for a double play that closed out the inning.

Baldwin set down the Phillies in order in the top of the sixth. Staub hit a one-out double against Montague in the bottom half. Kingman fouled out to first baseman Allen and Philadelphia reliever Joe Hoerner issued an intentional walk to Kranepool. Hoerner fanned Hodges for the third out of the inning and Baldwin retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Phils’ reliever Ron Schueler then yielded only a single to Unser in the bottom half.

Baldwin held the Phillies to a single by Luzinski in the top of the eighth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Staub homered to increase the Mets’ lead to 7-5. Kingman went down on strikes and Schueler retired Kranepool on an inning-ending ground ball to second baseman Cash. Jay Johnstone and pinch-hitter Tommy Hutton hit consecutive singles to open the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Tony Taylor got a bunt single on which Baldwin made an error that allowed Johnstone to score and pinch-runner Alan Bannister to move to third base. Johnny Oates grounded out to second baseman Millan and a sacrifice fly by Cash brought home Bannister with the tying run. Baldwin retired Bowa on a grounder to Kranepool that ended the inning. Philadelphia reliever Tug McGraw then gave up just a single to pinch-hitter Bud Harrelson in the bottom half to send the game onward.

Allen hit a double against Mets’ reliever Bob Apodaca with two outs in the top of the 10th. Johnstone was given an intentional walk and Bannister hit a single on which left fielder Vail threw to catcher Hodges for an out at home on Allen to close out the inning. McGraw pitched a perfect bottom half and Apodaca held the Phils to a single by Oates in the top of the 11th. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Kranepool singled against Phillies’ reliever Gene Garber. Hodges came to bat and hit a home run to end the game. The Mets had an exciting victory in extra innings.