Tonight at Shea Stadium, in front of a packed house of 54,817, the Mets struck early and never looked back as they toppled the A’s 6-1 to even the Fall Classic at two games apiece.
After Jon Matlack worked around a two out walk in the top of the first, the Mets opened the bottom half with consecutive singles by Wayne Garrett and Felix Millan. With A’s starter Ken Holtzman in immediate trouble, Rusty Staub made him pay when he followed by crushing a three run homer deep to left center field to put the Mets ahead 3-0.
The score remained 3-0 Mets until the top of the fourth, when the Athletics capitalized on a Wayne Garrett error to scratch an unearned run across while cutting New York’s advantage to 3-1.
The Mets responded immediately, plating three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a commanding 6-1 lead. After loading the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a hit by pitch, the Mets got a break of their own when an error by second baseman Dick Green allowed Don Hahn to score. The next batter, Rusty Staub, stroked a two run single to right field to drive in Bud Harrelson and Wayne Garrett to increase the Mets’ lead to 6-1.
Jon Matlack took it from there, holding the Athletics scoreless before handing the ball to Ray Sadecki for the top of the ninth. Sadecki loaded the bases with two outs, but struck out Bert Campaneris to secure the victory.
Here’s the box score and starting lineups from the game:
New York Mets
|1. Wayne Garrett, 3B||1. Bert Campaneris, SS|
|2. Felix Millan, 2B||2. Joe Rudi, LF|
|3. Rusty Staub, RF||3. Sal Bando, 3B|
|4. Cleon Jones, LF||4. Reggie Jackson, CF|
|5. John Milner, 1B||5. Gene Tenace, 1B|
|6. Jerry Grote, C||6. Jesus Alou, RF|
|7. Don Hahn, CF||7. Ray Fosse, C|
|8. Bud Harrelson, SS||8. Dick Green, 2B|
|9. Jon Matlack, P||9. Ken Holtzman, P|