The Atlanta Braves, deep into one of the worst hitting slumps in history, didn’t knock down any fences upon their return home Monday night. But they did manage to scratch out enough runs for a win.
A two-out single by Glenn Hubbard scored Dale Murphy from second base in the second inning to end the scoreless string at 37 innings and it turned out to be the only run in a 1-0 victory over the New York Mets. The run left the Braves well short of the major league record of 48 consecutive scoreless innings. It ended a string of four consecutive shutout defeats.
Murphy opened the “big” inning with an infield hit, getting the call on a close play at first. After center fielder Mookie Wilson made a running over-the-shoulder catch of Bob Horner’s drive in right-center, Murphy went to second on an infield out. After a walk to Rick Cerone, Hubbard hit a roller up the middle that barely went through to score Murphy.
Len Barker gave up only four hits in seven innings and Bruce Sutter finished up to gain his fifth save. It ended the Braves’ losing streak at five and the Mets’ winning streak at six.
“We were bound to score a run before the season was over,” said Sutter, who seldom gets to pitch in games in which the Braves don’t score.
By no means can the Braves consider their horrendous slump ended. They had seven hits, all singles, and now have one run and 28 hits, 23 of them singles, in their last 44 innings.
Barker became the Braves only starter except Rick Mahler (7-1) to post a victory this season. Barker paid tribute to the maligned Braves’ hitters.
“Everybody gets down on the guys when they don’t score, but look at the way we’ve been hitting the ball,” he said. “We’ve been hitting it hard, it just seems to be going right at somebody. We’ll start scoring and soon.”
Cincinnati 7, Philadelphia 3--It was old timer’s night at Cincinnati. Pete Rose, who is 44, had a triple and a single to move even closer to Ty Cobb’s hit record, and Tony Perez, who will be 43 today, won the game with a grand slam home run.
Player-manager Rose sent Perez up to bat for pitcher John Stuper (4-2) with the bases loaded and the score tied, 3-3, in the sixth inning. Perez tagged Dave Rucker for his first home run of the season and his first slam since 1980.
“It was a nice birthday present,” Perez said. “I like to come up in situations like this. I’m a fighter. I accept the challenge. I go up there thinking the pitcher’s in trouble, not me.”
The victory gave Stuper one more win than he had all of last season when he was with St. Louis.
One of the runs he yielded came on Mike Schmidt’s third home run of the season. The Philadelphia slugger had not hit one out since April 29.
Rose’s hit put him 71 shy of Ty Cobb’s major league record of 4,191.
Houston 3, Montreal 2--The Expos’ string of consecutive scoreless innings ended at 41 innings, when the Astros’ Bill Doran homered in the third inning at Houston and Montreal’s winning streak ended at four in the 10th inning.
Jerry Mumphrey’s pinch single scored Terry Puhl from second base with the winning run.
Nolan Ryan struck out seven and gave up only five hits in eight innings. He left with a 2-1 lead, but Frank DiPino and Dave Smith gave up the tying run in the ninth and he missed getting the win.