September 4, 1981: Harris and Allen Six-Hit Braves
|Date: September 4, 1981|
|Mets starter: Greg Harris|
|Winning pitcher: Greg Harris|
|Key player(s): Greg Harris, Neil Allen, Lee Mazzilli, Ellis Valentine|
|Key play: Mazzilli’s sacrifice fly, Valentine’s home run|
Harris pitched two-hit scoreless ball with six strikeouts from the first inning to the fourth. Braves’ starter Phil Niekro responded by yielding only a single to Lee Mazzilli and a walk to Hubie Brooks in the bottom halves. Leading off the top of the fifth, Glenn Hubbard homered for a 1-0 Atlanta lead. Bruce Benedict hit a single and Rafael Ramirez line out to first baseman Dave Kingman for an unassisted double play. Harris retired Niekro on a fly ball to center fielder Mookie Wilson to end the inning. Niekro then surrendered just a walk to John Stearns in the bottom half.
After hurling a scoreless top of the sixth, Harris hit a one-out double in the bottom of the inning. Wilson singled and moved around to third base on center fielder Dale Murphy’s error that allowed Harris to score. Mazzilli followed with a sacrifice fly to drive home Wilson and put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Niekro retired Brooks on an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop Ramirez. Harris then set down the Braves in order in the top of the seventh.
Ellis Valentine slugged a solo home run against Niekro with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Stearns doubled and Atlanta reliever Gene Garber retired Frank Taveras on a grounder back to the mound. Doug Flynn was given an intentional walk and pinch-hitter Rusty Staub singled to bring home Stearns with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Garber got Wilson on a fly ball to Murphy for the inning’s third out and Allen pitched a perfect top of the eighth. For the Braves, reliever Steve Bedrosian set down the side 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
Allen fanned Claudell Washington to begin the top of the ninth. Bob Horner also went down on strikes and Chris Chambliss singled to left field. Murphy followed with a single for the sixth Atlanta hit. Allen then retired Hubbard on a fly ball to left fielder Mazzilli for the final out of the game. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series.