September 21, 1969: Four Singles in 3rd Bury Pirates

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Date: September 21, 1969
Mets starter: Jerry Koosman
Mets: 5
Pirates: 3
Winning pitcher: Jerry Koosman
Key player(s): Ron Swoboda, Duffy Dyer, Art Shamsky
Key play: Swoboda’s two-run single, Dyer’s RBI single, Shamsky’s home run

The Mets faced the Pirates in a doubleheader on a Sunday afternoon. The teams played the opener of the twinbill in front of 55,901 fans at Shea Stadium. Four singles and an error in the third inning produced three runs for the Mets in a 5-3 win over Pittsburgh.

Matty Alou doubled to lead off the top of the first. Dave Cash grounded out to first baseman Ed Kranepool to advance Alou to third base. A single by Willie Stargell scored Alou for a 1-0 Pirates lead. Mets’ starter Jerry Koosman threw a called third strike past Roberto Clemente and got Jose Pagan on an inning-ending force play ground ball to shortstop Bud Harrelson. Pittsburgh’s Dock Ellis set down the side in order in the bottom half. Koosman then shut down the Bucs in the top of the second.

Ken Boswell drew a walk to open the bottom of the second inning. Kranepool singled and Ron Swoboda reached on an error by second baseman Cash to load the bases. Duffy Dyer followed with a force play grounder to shortstop Freddie Patek that drove home Boswell with the tying run. Harrelson walked to reload the bases and Koosman went down on strikes. Ellis retired Tommie Agee on a pop-up to first baseman Bob Robertson for the final out of the inning. Koosman then pitched a scoreless top of the third.

With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Art Shamsky hit a single to right field. Boswell followed with a single and Kranepool reached on an error by Patek that loaded the bases. An ensuing single by Swoboda brought home Shamsky and Boswell with the go-ahead runs. Dyer got the Mets’ fourth single of the inning to score Kranepool for a 4-1 New York lead. Ellis was replaced on the mound by Pirates’ reliever Lou Marone, who got Harrelson on a called third strike. Marone then fanned Koosman to close out the inning.

Clemente grounded out to Kranepool to begin the top of the fourth. Pagan hit a home run and Manny Sanguillen flied out to center fielder Agee. Robertson was retired on a ground ball to third baseman Wayne Garrett for the third out and Marone yielded just a single to Agee in the bottom half. Koosman set down the Bucs 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth. Pittsburgh’s Bruce Dal Canton then pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning.

Cash drew a leadoff walk in the top of the sixth. Stargell flied out to right fielder Swoboda. Clemente followed with a double to drive home Cash and reduce the Mets’ lead to 4-3. Pagan walked and Sanguillen was retired on a fly ball to Agee. Koosman got Robertson to ground out to Garrett and end the inning. Dal Canton limited the Mets to a single by Harrelson in the bottom half. The Pirates were then set down by Koosman on three consecutive infield grounders in the top of the seventh.

Bucs’ reliever Joe Gibbon retired Garrett on a fly ball to right fielder Clemente to begin the bottom of the seventh inning. Shamsky followed with a homer for the Mets’ fifth run of the game. Boswell was struck out and Kranepool grounded to Cash for the inning’s third out. Koosman fanned Cash and Stargell to open the top of the eighth. Clemente got a bunt single and Pagan drew a walk. Jerry retired Sanguillen on a fly ball to Agee that closed out the inning. Gibbon then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Robertson flied out to Agee to start the top of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Gene Alley was also retired on a fly ball to Agee. Koosman then threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Johnny Jeter to end the game. The Mets had begun the doubleheader with a victory.