September 3, 1985: Carter Hits 3 Home Runs

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Date: September 3, 1985
Mets starter: Rick Aguilera
Mets: 8
Padres: 3
Winning pitcher: Rick Aguilera
Key player(s): Gary Carter
Key play: Carter's home runs

The Mets were in the middle of a ten-game California road trip. They faced the Padres for the second game of a three-game series in San Diego. Gary Carter drove in six runs with three homers to propel the Mets to an 8-3 win.

The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Padres' starter Dave Dravecky retired the first two hitters before issuing a walk to Keith Hernandez. Carter then hit one over the left field wall for his first home run of the game.

Gary led off the top of the fourth with his second homer off Dravecky. Darryl Strawberry followed with a home run of his own, making it a four-run lead for the Mets. Meanwhile, Rick Aguilera had allowed only two San Diego hits and retired seven batters in a row at the end of the inning.

In the fifth, Tom Paciorek and Hernandez singled with one out. Luis DeLeon then came in to relieve Dravecky for the Padres. Carter greeted DeLeon with his third home run of the game, increasing the Mets' lead to 7-0. San Diego scored in the bottom of the inning on Carmelo Martinez's homer off Aguilera.

With the possibility of a four-homer game, Carter came up against Craig Lefferts with one out in the seventh. Gary swung away, but grounded into a double play to end the inning. Terry Kennedy then led off the bottom half with a home run and two more Padre batters reached base. Aguilera was replaced by Jesse Orosco, who got Garry Templeton on a fly ball for the final out.

Steve Garvey homered off Orosco in the eighth to cut the Met lead to 7-3. The Mets scored in the ninth when Len Dykstra hit a two-out triple off reliever Greg Booker to score Wally Backman. Booker then struck out Hernandez, ending the inning and denying Carter another chance for a fourth home run.

Orosco finished off the game with a scoreless ninth inning. The Mets had their second victory of the series and their fourth win in six games played on the West Coast. Carter also joined Strawberry as the first Met teammates to have 3-homer games in the same season.