Mets Whip Reds, Enter Series; O's Beat A's to Tie Playoffs

The New York Mets, the veritable Cinderella squad that seemed nestled in the fireplace of the National League Eastern Division just five weeks ago, yesterday took the pennant with a 7-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in New York.

Behind righthander Tom Seaver, with ninth-inning relief from Tug McGraw, the Mets exploded a 2-2 deadlock with a four-run fifth inning to win the best of five game series, three to two.

Ed Kranepool, one of the original Mets, stroked an opposite-field two-run single and veteran Willie Mays got a one-run Baltimore chopper scratch hit to highlight the Met offense.

On the other coast, the Baltimore Orioles, in desperation, took to the long ball yesterday to trim the Oakland A's, 5-4, before 27,000-plus in the Oakland Coliseum. Their playoff is tied at two games apiece.

Vida Blue started for the A's and coasted to a 4-0 lead while overpowering the Birds through six innings on two hits. His fastball was popping so much that, against a righthanded line-up, rightfielder Reggie Jackson made seven put-outs.


In the seventh inning, though, Oriole catcher Andy' Etchebarren lashed a three-run home run to left to tie the game at 4-4. Against loser and reliever Rollie Fingers, Bobby Grich opened the eighth with another four-sacker to ice it at 5-4. South-paw Grant Jackson got the Baltimore win.