September 22, 1967: Buchek Hits Two 3-Run Homers

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Date: September 22, 1967
Mets starter: Tug McGraw
Mets: 8
Astros: 5
Winning pitcher: Ron Taylor
Key player(s): Jerry Buchek
Key play: Buchek's homers in 8th & 10th

After losing the first game of a Banner Night doubleheader, the Mets faced the Astros in the second game at Shea Stadium. The Friday nightcap was an extra-inning battle that lasted nearly three hours. It ended in an 8-5 Mets victory on Jerry Buchek's second three-run homer of the game in the bottom of the 10th.

The Mets scored in the first inning against Houston starter Wade Blasingame. Amos Otis led off with a walk and advanced to third base on a single by Ed Kranepool. Otis came in to score on Bob Johnson's single for a 1-0 Met lead. Tommy Davis followed with the Mets' third straight single off Blasingame, but Kranepool was out at home on a throw by Astros' right fielder Rusty Staub. Buchek then hit into a double play to end the inning.

In the second, Houston tied the game when Bob Aspromonte came home on a wild pitch by Mets' starter Tug McGraw. The Mets reclaimed the lead in the third when McGraw got a leadoff double and later scored on Kranepool's sacrifice fly. Tug then set down the Astros with three perfect innings, during which he struck out six consecutive batters.

Doug Rader led off the top of the seventh inning with a single. Staub walked and Aspromonte followed with a home run to give Houston a 4-2 lead. McGraw then walked Aaron Pointer and was lifted for Dick Selma, who retired the next three batters. Jack Fisher followed up with a scoreless top of the eighth.

For the Mets, Johnson singled off Astros' reliever Carroll Sembera with two out in the bottom of the eighth. Davis also singled to bring Buchek to the plate. Jerry hit a three-run homer to put the Mets on top, 5-4. Sembera then got Joe Moock on a grounder back to the mound for the last out of the inning.

Staub singled off Fisher to begin the top of the ninth for the Astros. Rusty moved to second on Aspromonte's sacrifice bunt before Pointer grounded out to shortstop Buchek. Representing the final out, Dave Adlesh singled to score Staub with the tying run for Houston. The Mets were then retired in order by reliever Tom Dukes in the bottom of the inning.

Mets' reliever Ron Taylor retired the Astros on three infield line drives in the top of the tenth inning. In the bottom half, Johnson got a two-out double and Cleon Jones followed with a walk. Buchek then hit Dukes' pitch for his second three-run homer of the game to end it. The Mets had gained a split of the twinbill with a big display of slugging from Jerry.

Notes

  • This was the first win for Salty Parker as the Mets' interim manager.