September 5, 1981: Mets Beat Braves With Seven-Hitter

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Date: September 5, 1981
Mets starter: Pat Zachry
Mets: 4
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: Pat Zachry
Key player(s): Ellis Valentine, Hubie Brooks, Mookie Wilson
Key play: Brooks’ and Valentine’s doubles, Wilson’s single

The Mets faced the Braves on a Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played the second of three games in a weekend series. Pat Zachry and two relievers teamed up for a seven-hitter in a 4-2 Mets win over Atlanta.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, Claudell Washington singled and Chris Chambliss got hit by a pitch. Glenn Hubbard reached second base on third baseman Hubie Brooks’ error that brought home Washington and sent Chambliss to third. Zachry retired Jerry Royster on a pop-up to second baseman Doug Flynn for the third out and Lee Mazzilli hit a one-out triple in the bottom half. Brooks doubled to score Mazzilli and came home on a double by Ellis Valentine for a 2-1 Mets lead. Rusty Staub drew a walk and John Stearns popped out to first baseman Chambliss. Braves’ starter Gaylord Perry then got Frank Taveras on a pop-up to second baseman Hubbard to end the inning.

After a scoreless second, Zachry gave up just a single to Brett Butler in the top of the third. Mazzilli was hit by a pitch to open the bottom half. Lee advanced to third base on Brooks’ single and scored the Mets’ third run on a sacrifice fly by Valentine. Staub was retired on a ground ball to Perry, who retired Stearns on a grounder to Hubbard that ended the inning. Zachry pitched a perfect top of the fourth. Perry then held the Mets to a single by Flynn in the bottom half.

Zachry yielded only a double to Perry in the top of the fifth. Perry gave up just a single to Valentine in the bottom of the inning. With one out in the top of the sixth, Washington homered to reduce the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Zachry got Chambliss to pop out to shortstop Taveras and retired Hubbard on a ground ball back to the mound for the inning’s third out. To begin the bottom half, Stearns singled and moved to third base on a single by Taveras. Flynn grounded out to Chambliss, who followed up with a throw to catcher Bruce Benedict for an out at home on Stearns and a double play. Pinch-hitter Mike Cubbage drew a walk and Mookie Wilson singled to score Taveras with the fourth New York run. Perry was then replaced on the mound by Atlanta reliever Gene Garber, who got Mazzilli to fly out to right fielder Washington and finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever Mike Marshall hurled a scoreless top of the seventh. Garber set down the Mets in order in the bottom half and Butler hit a two-out single in the top of the eighth. Marshall retired Washington on a grounder to first baseman Mike Jorgensen to close out the inning and the Braves’ Steve Bedrosian set down the first two batters to start the bottom half. Flynn reached on shortstop Rafael Ramirez’s error and a walk to Marshall ensued. Bedrosian then got Wilson on a ground ball to Hubbard for the inning’s final out.

Chambliss doubled against Marshall to open the top of the ninth. Mets’ reliever Neil Allen got Hubbard to line out to Flynn and a single by Royster advanced Chambliss to third base. Allen then got Benedict to hit a grounder to Brooks for a game-ending double play. The Mets had their second consecutive victory over the Braves.