September 20, 1980: Mets Defeat Pirates in 11 Innings
|Date: September 20, 1980|
|Mets starter: Pat Zachry|
|Winning pitcher: Neil Allen|
|Key player(s): Mookie Wilson, Elliott Maddox|
|Key play: Maddox’s single in 11th|
The Mets and Pirates played on a Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium. The teams combined for 23 hits in a game that went into extra innings. The Mets scored three runs in the top of the 11th for a 9-6 win.
Pat Zachry and the Bucs’ Don Robinson each pitched shutout ball over the first three innings. Pat faced the minimum nine batters while the Mets got a single from Wally Backman and two other runners on base. Robinson shut down the Mets again in the top of the fourth despite hitting Backman with a pitch and walking Steve Henderson. The Pirates then took a 2-0 lead on back-to-back RBI doubles by Mike Easler and Bill Madlock in the bottom of the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Hubie Brooks got a leadoff single and went to third base on Doug Flynn’s ensuing double. Pinch-hitter Jerry Morales hit a fly ball to left fielder Lee Lacy on which Brooks came home. Mookie Wilson grounded out and Backman singled to score Flynn and tie the game. Wally was caught stealing for the third out and Mets’ reliever Scott Holman pitched a perfect bottom of the inning.
The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth. Flynn hit a single to center field, scoring Mike Jorgensen and Henderson to put the Mets ahead, 4-2. Robinson was relieved by Enrique Romo, who retired pinch-hitter Dan Norman for the final out of the inning. The Bucs got a run against Jeff Reardon on a two-out single by John Milner that plated Dale Berra in the bottom half.
Jorgensen singled to drive home Wilson with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Henderson followed with another single that scored Lee Mazzilli to extend the Mets’ lead to 6-3. Romo retired the next two batters and Reardon pitched a perfect bottom half. Pittsburgh’s Grant Jackson set down the Mets 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth and Madlock hit a two-run homer off Reardon in the bottom of the inning.
Jackson retired the Mets in order again in the top of the ninth. In the bottom half, Bill Robinson singled with two outs off Mets’ reliever Neil Allen. Pinch-runner Matt Alexander stole second base and scored on a single by Omar Moreno to tie the game at 6-6. Moreno was thrown out stealing by Mets’ catcher Alex Trevino to end the inning. Pirates’ reliever Kent Tekulve pitched perfectly in the top of the 10th and Allen did the same in the bottom half.
Wilson hit a triple with two outs in the top of the 11th inning. Tekulve walked Backman and Mazzilli to load the bases and Elliott Maddox came up to bat. Maddox singled to center field, bringing home Wilson and Backman. A single by Henderson scored Mazzilli to give the Mets a three-run lead. Tekulve then struck out Trevino to end the inning.
Dyar Miller retired all three Pittsburgh batters in the bottom of the 11th. The Mets had a victory in extra-innings. The triumph ended the team’s string of seven consecutive losses in extra-inning games.