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National League Roundup : Sutcliffe Is Back, Beats Pirates, 1-0

Rick Sutcliffe, making his first start in almost three weeks, pitched a five-hitter and struck out nine to lead the Cubs to a 1-0 victory over the luckless Pittsburgh Pirates Friday at Chicago.

Jose DeLeon (1-8) matched Sutcliffe except for one pitch, the one Jody Davis hit for a home run in the second inning.

Sutcliffe (6-4) came off the disabled list shortly before game time. He had been out since suffering a partial tear of his hamstring May 19. In handing the Pirates their fourth loss in a row, Sutcliffe improved his record against the Pirates to 6-1. It was his second shutout against them this season.

“It was kind of like opening day again for me,” Sutcliffe said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was winded out there for a while but I never felt any pain in the leg.

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“I went out there to pitch as long and as hard as I could. I didn’t really expect to do as well as I did.”

Davis, who had not hit a home run since May 3, was glad to see the Cubs’ pitching ace return.

“I always hit when Rick pitches,” said Davis, who also had a double and single. “But give the credit to Rick, he did the job.”

Pirate Manager Chuck Tanner was lavish in his praise of Sutcliffe.

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“Cy Young beat us,” he said. “He had to be good to beat Jose. The first pitch in the second inning to Davis was the only mistake he made.”

A crowd of 37, 414, the largest Wrigley Field gathering this season, cheered Sutcliffe’s every move as he took charge after giving up four hits in the first three innings.

San Diego 9-3, Cincinnati 3-2--The Reds were talking about a sweep of the doubleheader at Cincinnati and taking over first place in the West. Instead, they fell 3 1/2 games back.

After Kurt Bevacqua hit a grand slam home run and Carmelo Martinez hit a three-run shot to make the opener a romp, Tony Gwynn took shortstop Gary Templeton off the hook by hitting a home run in the 11th to win the nightcap.

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Rich Gossage, in relief, had one on and two out protecting a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning of the second game. But Templeton fumbled Ron Oester’s grounder and Wayne Krenchecki blooped a double to left-center to tie it.

Kevin McReynolds had seven hits in the doubleheader to tie a Padre record set by Mike Ivie on May 30, 1977.

Player-Manager Pete Rose of the Reds sat out the opener, but had a single in the nightcap and needs only 50 hits to pass Ty Cobb.

Craig Lefferts, pitching two scoreless innings, won the nightcap, while Mark Thurmond went the first five innings of the opener to even his record at 3-3 and end the Reds’ four-game winning streak. Luis DeLeon pitched four scoreless innings to earn the save.

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St. Louis 7, New York 2--Tommy Herr and Jack Clark each drove in two runs as the Cardinals exploded for six runs in the 13th at New York to drop the Mets into a tie with the Cubs for first place in the East.

Tom Nieto singled in the first run since Danny Heep’s homer tied it, 1-1 in the fifth inning.

The two runs batted in for Herr, who leads the league in hitting and RBIs, gave him 49 runs batted in, tying his career high.

The top four hitters in the Cardinal lineup went 12 for 24. Yet, the Cardinals did not score a run from the third inning until the 13th. They finished with 17 hits, four of them doubles.

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Montreal 3, Philadelphia 1--Swift Tim Raines opened the season hampered by a hamstring injury. Apparently, he is completely recovered.

In this game at Philadelphia, Raines stole three bases and scored all three Montreal runs to help David Palmer win a pitching battle with Steve Carlton (1-6).

Houston 4, San Francisco 1--The Giants pitching staff has an earned-run average of 2.49. It would be even better if they just had a chance to face the Giant hitters.

The Giants have an anemic batting average of .213. They have scored one run in the last two games.

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