|Cledenon' 2 HR's pace Mets early, NY holds on to win 5-4|
Posted by David Whitman at 12:00 PM
On a two game losing streak with time running short the Mets needed to get back on the winning side. They sent Gary Gentry to the hill to take on the Dodgers’ Don Sutton. New York struck first on Donn Clendenon’s solo blast in the opening inning. In the 4th Clendenon rocketed his second homer of the game-11th of the season-to put New York up 2-0.
Ron Swoboda’s double to left center tacked on two more runs in the 6th. A run-scoring single in the 8th off the bat of Ken Boswell drove in Clendenon with the team’s fifth run. Gentry entered the 9th in command and seemingly on his way to victory #10. A walk and single ended his hopes for a CG, but Ron Taylor came on to retire Ted Sizemore on a forceout at 2nd.
Up comfortably, 5-1, with one out to go Taylor seemed on his way to preserving Gentry’s shutout with a save. Instead he wouldn't make it out of the inning. PH Jim LeFebvre’s RBI single cost Gentry his shutout and Andy Kosco’s 2- RBI single almost cost the Mets the game. With the tying run on 3rd and the winning run on 1st Gil Hodges called on Tug McGraw to snuff out the Dodgers’ late rally-and he did. McGraw earned his 10th save by striking out Willie Davis. Mets 5 Dodgers 4
Meanwhile at Crosley Field, Ferguson Jenkins and the Cubs downed the Reds, 8-2. New York (77-55) remained 5 games back of Chicago (84-52).