September 23, 1987: Carter Leads Mets Past Expos

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Date: September 23, 1987
Mets starter: John Candelaria
Mets: 4
Expos: 3
Winning pitcher: John Candelaria
Key player(s): Gary Carter, Kevin McReynolds
Key play: McReynolds’ double, Carter’s two-run single

The Mets faced the Expos on a Wednesday night at Shea Stadium. The teams began a two-game series in front of 41,050 fans on hand. Gary Carter had four singles and three runs batted in to lead the Mets to a 4-3 win over Montreal.

Tim Raines opened the top of the first inning with a triple to center field. Mets’ starter John Candelaria struck out Mitch Webster and surrendered a single to Hubie Brooks that brought home Raines. Candelaria followed up with inning-ending strikeouts of Tim Wallach and Andres Galarraga. Expos’ starter Bryn Smith retired the Mets in order in the bottom half. Candelaria pitched a scoreless top of the second. Smith then held the Mets to a single by Carter in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the third, Raines got a leadoff double and advanced to third base on Webster’s sacrifice bunt. Brooks’ ensuing sacrifice fly scored Raines for a 2-0 Montreal lead. Wallach hit a fly ball to left fielder Kevin McReynolds for the third out of the inning. Smith limited the Mets to a single by Candelaria in a scoreless bottom half. John retired the Expos 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth inning. With one out in the bottom half, Darryl Strawberry singled and stole second base. McReynolds flied out to center fielder Reid Nichols and a single by Carter brought home Strawberry. Smith then struck out Tim Teufel to end the inning.

Mike Fitzgerald drew a walk and moved to second on Smith’s sacrifice bunt to start the top of the fifth. Raines got an infield single on which Fitzgerald advanced to third. Webster singled to score Fitzgerald and extend the Montreal lead to 3-1. Brooks flied out to right fielder Strawberry and a strikeout of Wallach ended the inning. Smith pitched a perfect bottom half. Candelaria then shut down the Expos in the top of the sixth.

Keith Hernandez and Strawberry got back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. A double by McReynolds plated Hernandez and sent Strawberry to third. Carter singled off Montreal reliever Jeff Parrett to drive home Strawberry and McReynolds, giving the Mets a one-run lead. Parrett issued a walk to Teufel and threw a wild pitch to put runners at second and third. Rafael Santana popped out to second baseman Vance Law. Parrett then retired pinch-hitter Dave Magadan on a ground ball to Law for the third out.

Mets’ reliever Terry Leach pitched a scoreless top of the seventh inning. Montreal’s Joe Hesketh set down the Mets with a perfect bottom half. In the top of the eighth, the Expos had a runner at second base with two outs. Reliever Randy Myers struck out pinch-hitter Herm Winningham to end the inning. Carter singled for his fourth hit of the game with two outs in the bottom half. Hesketh then got Teufel on an inning-ending line drive to center fielder Casey Candaele.

Law singled off Mets’ reliever Roger McDowell to begin the top of the ninth. McDowell struck out Fitzgerald and retired pinch-hitter Wallace Johnson on grounder to third baseman Howard Johnson. With Raines at bat, McDowell threw a wild pitch that sent pinch-runner Tom Romano from second to third. Raines reached base for the fifth time in the game by drawing a walk. McDowell then fanned Webster for the final out to notch his 25th save of the season. The Mets had held on for a victory.