September 8, 1982: Ownbey's First Major League Win

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Date: September 8, 1982
Mets starter: Rick Ownbey
Mets: 9
Pirates: 1
Winning pitcher: Rick Ownbey
Key player(s): Rick Ownbey, Dave Kingman, Bob Bailor, Ron Hodges
Key play: Kingman’s home run, Hodges’ grand slam

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The teams concluded a three-game series at Three Rivers Stadium. Rick Ownbey pitched a complete game for his first major league win as the Mets defeated the Bucs, 9-1.

Bob Bailor doubled off Pittsburgh starter Don Robinson with one out in the top of the first inning. George Foster flied out to center fielder Lee Lacy and a single by Dave Kingman brought home Bailor. Robinson struck out Gary Rajsich to end the inning. Ownbey pitched a scoreless bottom half. The Mets were retired in order by Robinson in the top of the second. The Pirates had runners on first and second base with one out in the bottom of the inning. Ownbey then fanned Robinson and got Lacy on an inning-ending pop-up to second baseman Brian Giles.

Robinson issued a two-out walk to Bailor in the top of the third. Bob stole second and came around to score on Foster’s single to center field. Kingman walked and Rajsich hit a fly ball to left fielder Mike Easler for the third out. Ownbey shut down the Bucs in the bottom of the inning. The Mets were limited to a double by Ron Gardenhire in a scoreless top of the fourth. In the bottom half, Johnny Ray led off with a walk and was thrown out at third by left fielder Foster on Dale Berra’s ensuing single. Ownbey then retired Robinson on a double play grounder to shortstop Gardenhire that ended the inning.

Mookie Wilson drew a walk to begin the top of the fifth. An error by Robinson on a pickoff attempt advanced Wilson to third base. Bailor walked and Foster flied out to Easler. Kingman followed with a three-run homer to extend the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Pirates’ reliever Cecilio Guante came in to pitch and gave up singles to Rajsich and Ron Hodges. Guante followed up by striking out Giles and Gardenhire to close out the inning. Ownbey then held Pittsburgh without a run in the bottom half.

Ownbey and Guante each pitched scoreless ball in the sixth and seventh. Bucs’ reliever Enrique Romo shut down the Mets in the top of the eighth. The Pirates were shut down by Ownbey again in the bottom of the inning and Bailor doubled to begin the top of the ninth. Bob stole third base and a pair of walks to Foster and Mike Howard loaded the bases with one out. Hodges hit a grand slam off Pittsburgh’s Grant Jackson to increase the Mets’ lead to 9-0. Giles grounded out to third baseman Bill Madlock. Jackson then retired Gardenhire on a fly ball to right fielder Richie Hebner to end the inning.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Berra hit a solo home run to end Ownbey’s bid for a shutout. As a pinch-hitter for Jackson, Eddie Vargas singled in his first major league at bat. Lacy followed with a grounder to Gardenhire for a game-ending double play. The Mets had a series-ending victory as Ownbey recorded his first win as a major leaguer.


  • Hodges’ grand slam was the only one of his 12-year career.
  • This was Jackson’s only game as a Pirate during the season. It was also the last one of his 18-year major league career.