Keith Hernandez drove in two runs with a single and a double, and Dwight Gooden pitched a six-hitter Tuesday night to lead the New York Mets to a 4-2 victory that spoiled the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1986 home opener and the debut of its new owners, front office and Manager Jim Leyland.
Gooden, last year’s Cy Young Award winner, struck out six and walked one in going the distance in his debut. The 21-year-old right-hander withstood a threat in the ninth.
Joe Orsulak opened with a walk and Johnny Ray singled him to second. Sid Bream advanced both runners with a sacrifice. Gooden escaped by striking out Steve Kemp and inducing Tony Pena to tap to the mound to end the game.
The loss went to Pirates starter Rick Reuschel, who gave up three runs on five hits and five walks over six innings. Reuschel struck out five.
The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first. Lenny Dykstra led off with a walk and scored on Hernandez’s one-out double to the gap in left-center field. Hernandez took third on the throw home and then scored on Gary Carter’s sacrifice fly to left.
R.J. Reynolds’ leadoff homer, over the right field wall, in the bottom of the first on an 0-2 pitch from Gooden cut the lead to 2-1.
Reuschel walked the bases loaded in the third, but pitched his way out of the jam without yielding a run.
The Mets made it 3-1 in the sixth with back-to-back leadoff doubles by Darryl Strawberry and George Foster. Foster was tagged out trying to stretch his hit into a triple. That gamble cost the Mets a possible run, because Howard Johnson followed with a double.
Reynolds helped the Pirates close to within 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth.