September 8, 1981: Lynch and Staub Lead Mets Past Bucs

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Date: September 8, 1981
Mets starter: Ed Lynch
Mets: 3
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Ed Lynch
Key player(s): Ed Lynch, Rusty Staub, Lee Mazzilli, Mike Jorgensen
Key play: Staub’s home run, Mazzilli’s single, Jorgensen’s triple

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. The teams played the third of four games in a series at Three Rivers Stadium. Ed Lynch and Rusty Staub led the way to a 3-1 Mets win over the Bucs.

Pirates’ starter Luis Tiant retired the side in order in the top of the first inning. Lynch hurled a perfect bottom half and Staub hit a home run to lead off the top of the second. Tiant set down the next three Mets batters to end the inning and Lynch gave up just a single to Tony Pena in the bottom half. Tiant retired the Mets in order in the top of the third. Lynch then surrendered just a walk to Dale Berra in the bottom of the inning.

Hubie Brooks singled with one out in the top of the fourth. Brooks stole second base and Staub drew a walk. Lee Mazzilli hit a single to score Brooks and increase the Mets’ lead to 2-0. Tiant got Mike Jorgensen on a force play ground ball to first baseman Jason Thompson and retired Frank Taveras on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Johnny Ray. With one out in the bottom half, Thompson homered for the Bucs’ first run of the game. Lynch then retired Mike Easler on a fly ball to center fielder Mookie Wilson and got Pena on a ground ball back to the mound to close out the inning.

Tiant and Lynch each pitched scoreless ball from the fifth inning to the seventh. Staub got a one-out single in the top of the eighth. Mazzilli grounded out to Tiant to advance pinch-runner Ron Gardenhire to second base. Jorgensen followed with a triple to drive home Gardenhire with the Mets’ third run. Tiant retired Taveras on a pop-up to shortstop Tim Foli that closed out the inning and pinch-hitter Willie Montanez singled against New York reliever Neil Allen to lead off the bottom half. Montanez moved around to third on Omar Moreno’s and Ray’s ground outs to second baseman Doug Flynn. Allen then retired Bill Madlock on a grounder to shortstop Taveras for the inning’s third out.

Pittsburgh reliever Kent Tekulve pitched a perfect top of the ninth. Thompson drew a walk to open the bottom half. Easler singled and Pena popped out to first baseman Jorgensen. Lee Lacy hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Brooks and stole second base. Allen then got Foli to fly out to right fielder Ellis Valentine and end the game. The Mets had a victory over the Bucs.