September 7, 1970: Mets Come Back to Defeat Expos

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Date: September 7, 1970
Mets starter: Tom Seaver
Mets: 5
Expos: 4
Winning pitcher: Danny Frisella
Key player(s): Danny Frisella, Cleon Jones, Jerry Grote, Donn Clendenon
Key play: Jones’ home run, Grote’s two singles

The Mets faced the Expos in a doubleheader on Labor Day afternoon at Shea Stadium. The teams played a two-hour and twenty-seven-minute opener of the twinbill. The Mets came from behind for a 5-4 win over Montreal.

Tom Seaver and the Expos’ Carl Morton each pitched a perfect first inning. Bob Bailey drew a walk to lead off the top of the second. Jim Gosger reached on a fielder’s choice ground ball and Boots Day flied out to right fielder Art Shamsky to advance Bailey to third base. John Bateman singled to score Bailey with the first run of the game. A single by Bobby Wine plated Gosger for a 2-0 Montreal lead. Wine moved to second on Morton’s sacrifice bunt and Seaver retired Marv Staehle on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Ken Boswell. Morton then set down the Mets in order in the top of the second.

Seaver and Morton pitched scoreless ball in the third and fourth innings. Staehle drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth. Jim Fairey popped out to third baseman Wayne Garrett and a double by Rusty Staub ensued. Bailey singled to drive home Staehle and move Staub to third base. Gosger flied out to left fielder Cleon Jones. Trying to score after the catch, Staub was out at home on Jones’ throw to catcher Jerry Grote for an inning-ending double play. Morton then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Day hit a single to begin the top of the sixth inning. Bateman reached on Seaver’s error and Wine followed with a force play ground ball to first baseman Donn Clendenon. Morton went down on strikes and Staehle flied out to Jones to end the inning. Bud Harrelson drew a walk to open the bottom half. Seaver was struck out and Tommie Agee doubled to left field. Garrett popped out to first baseman Gosger and a strikeout of Jones finished off the inning. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Bailey walked and stole second base. Gosger followed with a single to bring home Bailey and increase the Expos’ lead to 4-0. Seaver then retired Day on a fly ball to center fielder Agee for the inning’s final out.

Shamsky tripled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Clendenon hit a single to drive home Shamsky and went to third base on a single by Boswell. Grote singled to score Clendenon and a foul pop-up by Harrelson was caught by Gosger. Morton got pinch-hitter Dave Marshall to hit a grounder to second baseman Staehle for a double play that closed out the inning. Mets’ reliever Danny Frisella then hurled a scoreless top of the eighth.

Garrett drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jones followed with home run to tie the game at 4-4. Morton was replaced on the mound by Montreal reliever Mike Marshall, who retired Shamsky on a grounder to Staehle. Clendenon drew a walk and stole second base. Boswell walked and Grote singled to score Clendenon for a one-run Mets lead. Mike Marshall then got Harrelson to fly out to center fielder Day and end the inning.

Fairey went down on strikes to begin the top of the ninth. Staub was retired on a pop-up to shortstop Harrelson. Frisella then threw a called third strike past Bailey for the game’s final out. The Mets had a comeback victory to start the doubleheader.