September 20, 1978: Four-Run 7th Beats Cardinals

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Date: September 20, 1978
Mets starter: Kevin Kobel
Mets: 7
Cardinals: 6
Winning pitcher: Kevin Kobel
Key player(s): Kevin Kobel, Lee Mazzilli, Willie Montanez
Key play: Kobel’s double, Mazzilli’s home run, Montanez’s single

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Wednesday night in St. Louis. The teams played a two-hour and thirty-five-minute game. The Mets scored four runs in the seventh inning in a 7-6 win over the Redbirds.

Cards’ starter Dan O’Brien pitched a scoreless top of the first. Garry Templeton singled against the Mets’ Kevin Kobel to lead off the bottom half. Templeton stole second base and came around to score on a double by Jerry Morales. Keith Hernandez drew a walk and Ted Simmons hit a ground ball to third baseman Elliott Maddox for a double play. Kobel then retired George Hendrick on a grounder to Maddox for the third out.

After scoreless second and third innings, Maddox hit a single with one out in the top of the fourth. Doug Flynn popped out to shortstop Templeton and a double by Kobel brought home Maddox with the tying run. Lee Mazzilli followed with a two-run homer to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. Tim Foli was retired on a grounder to third baseman Ken Reitz to close out the inning and Kobel hurled a perfect bottom half. O’Brien yielded only a double to Willie Montanez in the top of the fifth. Kobel then held the Cardinals to a single by Mike Tyson in the bottom of the inning.

St. Louis reliever George Frazier set down the side on three consecutive ground balls in the top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom half, Morales got a single and Hernandez homered to tie the game at 3-3. Simmons was called out on strikes and Hendrick flied out to center fielder Mazzilli to end the inning. To open the top of the seventh, Lee drew a walk and Foli reached on an error by Templeton. Frazier walked Steve Henderson to load the bases and was replaced on the mound by the Cards’ Aurelio Lopez. Montanez greeted Lopez with a single that drove home Mazzilli and Foli with Henderson advancing to third base. John Stearns hit a sacrifice fly to score Henderson and a single by Dan Norman sent Montanez to third. Against St. Louis’s Roy Thomas, Maddox hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Montanez and increase the Mets’ lead to 7-3. Thomas retired Flynn on an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Morales. Kobel then set down the Redbirds in order in the bottom half.

Thomas held the Mets to a double by Mazzilli in the top of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Roger Freed singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Templeton flied out to Mazzilli and a fly ball by Morales was caught by left fielder Henderson. Hernandez tripled to score pinch-runner Mike Ramsey with the Cardinals’ fourth run and Kobel was replaced on the mound by Mets’ reliever Jerry Koosman. Simmons drew a walk and Hendrick hit a single that plated Hernandez, cutting the New York lead to 7-5. Koosman then got Reitz on a force play grounder to shortstop Foli for the inning’s final out.

Cards’ reliever Buddy Schultz pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Steve Swisher hit a single to begin the bottom half. Tyson drew a walk and pinch-hitter Jerry Mumphrey’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third base. Templeton followed with a sacrifice fly that brought home pinch-runner Jim Lentine with the sixth St. Louis run. Koosman then retired Morales on a ground ball to Foli to end the game. The Mets had a victory over the Redbirds.