September 6, 1985: Strawberry's Double Breaks Up Mound Duel

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Date: September 6, 1985
Mets starter: Dwight Gooden
Mets: 2
Dodgers: 0
Winning pitcher: Jesse Orosco
Key player(s): Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Darryl Strawberry
Key play: Strawberry’s double in 13th

The Mets faced the Dodgers on a Friday night in Los Angeles. Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela took the mound for their respective teams in the opener of a three-game series. The pitchers hooked up in a duel that remained scoreless into extra innings. In the 13th, Darryl Strawberry broke things up with a two-run double for a 2-0 Mets win.

Gooden and Valenzuela dominated the regulation nine innings. Dwight pitched five-hit ball and struck out ten batters while his Los Angeles counterpart fanned five and yielded six hits. Gooden got a pair of singles in three at-bats against Fernando. Meanwhile, Valenzuela went 0-for-3 in facing Dwight.

Valenzuela shut down the Mets again in the top of the 10th. New York reliever Roger McDowell hurled a scoreless bottom half and Fernando set down the side in order in the top of the 11th. McDowell held the Dodgers to a single by Mariano Duncan in the bottom of the inning and Los Angeles’s Tom Niedenfuer gave up just a single to Ray Knight in the top of the 12th. Pedro Guerrero and Bill Madlock got consecutive singles against Mets’ reliever Terry Leach to begin the bottom half. Steve Yeager was retired on a pop-up to Leach. New York’s Jesse Orosco then struck out pinch-hitter Enos Cabell and got Bob Bailor on a fly ball to left fielder George Foster that finished off the inning.

Rafael Santana singled against Niedenfuer to lead off the top of the 13th. Keith Hernandez hit a force play ground ball to first baseman Cabell and advanced to third base on Wally Backman’s single. On his own hit, Backman went to second via a throw. Pinch-hitter Danny Heep fouled out to catcher Yeager. Strawberry followed with a ground-rule double that plated both Hernandez and Backman, giving the Mets a lead of two runs. Gary Carter was given an intentional walk. Foster then got a single on which Strawberry was hit by the batted ball for the inning’s final out.

Pinch-hitter Bill Russell drew a walk to begin the bottom of the 13th. Duncan and pinch-hitter Candy Maldonado both went down on strikes. Mike Marshall singled and Guerrero drew a walk that loaded the bases. Orosco then retired Madlock on a pop-up to first baseman Hernandez to end the game. The great pitching matchup had concluded with a Mets victory in extra innings.