September 3, 1978: Six-Run 2nd Leads Mets Past Dodgers

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Date: September 3, 1978
Mets starter: Tom Hausman
Mets: 8
Dodgers: 5
Winning pitcher: Tom Hausman
Key player(s): Lee Mazzilli, John Stearns
Key play: Mets’ six runs in 2nd, Mazzilli’s home runs

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. The teams played the finale of a four-game series. The Mets scored six runs in the second inning and Lee Mazzilli homered from both sides of the plate as the team came away with an 8-5 win.

Batting right-handed against Dodgers’ lefty starter Tommy John, Mazzilli hit a home run to lead off the top of the first. Bobby Valentine followed with a ground out to third baseman Ron Cey. Steve Henderson was retired on a grounder to second baseman Dave Lopes and a strikeout of Willie Montanez ended the inning. With one out in the bottom half, Bill Russell doubled to left field and Reggie Smith went down on strikes. Mets’ starter Tom Hausman then got Steve Garvey on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Lenny Randle.

John Stearns opened the top of the second with a single to center field. Stearns stole second base and advanced to third on a single by Tom Grieve. Randle singled to drive home Stearns and send Grieve to third. Doug Flynn hit a single to score Grieve and a passed ball by catcher Joe Ferguson allowed Randle to go from second to third. Hausman singled to plate Randle and moved to second on a throw. Mazzilli then got the Mets sixth consecutive single to score Flynn and send Hausman to third.

In continuation of the inning, Valentine hit a force play grounder to shortstop Russell on which Hausman came home. Henderson hit a single and Montanez’s force play grounder to first baseman Garvey advanced Valentine to third base. Stearns followed with his second single to bring home Valentine with the Mets’ sixth run of the inning and a 7-0 lead. A wild pitch moved Montanez to third and Stearns to second. John then struck out Grieve to end the inning.

Cey homered to lead off the bottom of the second. Hausman retired the next three Los Angeles batters and John pitched a perfect top of the third. Lopes got a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Russell followed with a double play grounder to third baseman Randle for the inning’s final outs. The Mets were shut down by John in the top of the fourth and Hausman retired the side in order in the bottom half. John then hurled a perfect top of the fifth.

A home run by Dusty Baker opened the bottom of the fifth inning. Rick Monday fouled out to Randle and a single by Johnny Oates ensued. Pinch-hitter Vic Davalillo lined out to second baseman Sergio Ferrer. Hausman got Lopes on a force play grounder to Ferrer to close out the inning. Dodgers’ reliever Charlie Hough held the Mets to a single by Randle in a scoreless top of the sixth. With one out in the bottom half, Smith drew a walk against the Mets’ Dwight Bernard. Garvey reached on an error by shortstop Flynn and a single by Cey loaded the bases. Baker hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Smith. Bernard then fanned Monday for the third out of the inning.

Leading off the top of the seventh, Mazzilli (batting lefty against the right-handed Hough) hit his second homer of the game to extend the Mets’ lead to 8-3. Hough retired the next three New York batters and Bernard issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Bill North in the bottom of the inning. Lopes followed with a ground ball back to Bernard for an inning-ending double play. Los Angeles reliever Lance Rautzhan pitched a scoreless top of the eighth and back-to-back walks to Russell and Smith began the bottom half. Dale Murray came on to pitch for the Mets and gave up a single to Garvey that brought home Russell. Cey flied out to center fielder Mazzilli. Murray then got Baker to hit a grounder to Randle for a double play that finished off the inning.

Rautzhan shut down the Mets in the top of the ninth. Monday hit a single to lead off the bottom half. Oates grounded out to first baseman Montanez to advance Monday to second base. Pinch-hitter Lee Lacy lined out to Mazzilli and a single by Lopes scored Monday with the Dodgers’ fifth run. Murray then got Russell to fly out to Mazzilli and end the game. The Mets had a victory to close out the series.