Amazin’ Look Back: August 7, 1973 – Rusty Staub And Cleon Jones Deliver Clutch Hits In 6-5 Win Over Cardinals

By Michael Lecolant

The Mets finally ended this rather long six game series against St. Louis today with their second straight victory over the Cardinals, this time by a 6-5 score.  Ray Sadecki made today’s spot start, but didn’t last very long.  He only pitched 2.1 innings, allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits.  He walked no batters and struck out one.

Apr 1, 2013; Queens, NY, USA; New York Mets legend

Rusty Staub

throws out the 1st pitch before the opening day game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The teams exchanged a pair of runs in the first inning.  In the bottom of the second, the Mets took a 3-1 lead on three hits by Wayne Garrett, Ted Martinez, the pitcher Ray Sadecki, and a wild pitch unleashed by Cardinals starter Tom Murphy.

Five Cardinals hits in the top of the third knocked Ray Sadecki out of the box.  Lou Brock, Ted Sizemore, Luis Melendez, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre all hit safely to plate three runs and overtake the Mets by a 4-3 score.  The Mets reciprocated in the bottom of the frame, knocking Tom Murphy from the game after two innings and two batters in the third.  Rusty Staub led off the inning with a single, and John Milner sent him to third with a double to right field.  Orlando Pena replaced Murphy on the mound, and Cleon Jones greeted him with a single to left, scoring both Staub and Milner.

The Mets picked up another very important run, albeit an unearned run in the fourth inning off Pena.  Rusty Staub drove home Teddy Martinez with a two-out single to center field, making it a 6-4 game.

In the sixth, Lou Brock drove home Ken Reitz with St. Louis’ fifth run, but they’d get no more.  Tug McGraw entered the game in the seventh and pitched three scoreless innings to preserve the victory.  For Tug, it was his thirteenth save of the season.  Buzz Capra earned the win in relief of Ray Sadecki, and improved his record to a 2-5 mark.

Starting Lineups

The Mets improved their record to 50-60, but remain in sixth place, 9.5 games out of first.  After today’s game, the team hopped a flight and are heading back to California for a pair of games against Walter Alston‘s Los Angeles Dodgers, then three against the Giants, and three against the Padres.

In Game One tomorrow versus L.A., Jon Matlack is scheduled to climb the hill, opposed by the Dodgers Andy Messersmith.

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