Gary Carter of the New York Mets broke a scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the sixth inning and that was all his pitcher, Dwight Gooden, needed to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0, yesterday in New York.
Carter has won games with all three of his homers this season. This one was on a 3-2 pitch.
"It's been a great week for us," he said. "We're just sky high."
Gooden, 20, and Jay Tibbs, 23, a former teammate from the Mets' Class A Lynchburg, Va., farm, had matched shutouts in a matchup of two of the youngest pitchers in the NL. Gooden allowed four hits -- all singles -- and struck out 10. Tibbs (0-2), who had a four-hitter until Carter's homer, was acquired last June in the deal that sent pitcher Bruce Berenyi to New York.
As a promotion, fans attending the game were given posters marked with red Ks to help them keep track of Gooden's strikeouts.
"I knew the fans wanted strikeouts," Gooden said. "But I tried to keep it out of my mind. I tried not to overthrow."
"I don't like those cards," his manager, Dave Johnson, complained. "It's an added distraction he doesn't need. I kept hoping they wouldn't hold up those things."
The Mets ended their first home stand of the season at 5-0, their best start ever. They started 4-0 in 1973.