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National League Roundup : Cub Losing Streak Reaches Seven

From Times Wire Services

The Chicago Cubs are losing again. That’s not necessarily news, especially for a team whose last pennant came in 1945.

Tuesday night at New York, their current losing streak reached seven games after a 5-1 defeat by the Mets. History is not within immediate reach since the club record for defeats is 13, set in 1982.

However, the slump, which has dropped them into third place, is somewhat surprising since the Cubs, brimming with confidence after winning a division championship last season, had started off quickly. Indeed, as late as last week Chicago was leading the Eastern Division by 3 1/2 games.

However, the wheels have come off.

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Tuesday night, the Cubs were victims of Ed Lynch’s eight-hitter and two RBIs from catcher Gary Carter. Lynch (4-3) pitched his third complete game of the season.

Any immediate turnaround may have to wait because the Cubs face the Mets’ ace, right-hander Dwight Gooden, tonight.

“We have too many good players for this to continue,” Cub right fielder Keith Moreland said. “Gooden’s not unbeatable. If you get in a slump like this, you have to forget each loss and go at each game with a positive attitude. If not, you’ll never get going.”

Pittsburgh 4, Montreal 1--After sweeping the Mets last weekend to move into first place in the East, the Expos have turned into patsies, losing to the last-place Pirates for the second night in a row at Montreal.

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Larry McWilliams (4-5) tossed a three-hitter to end a personal four-game losing streak, and George Hendrick had two doubles and an RBI to lead the Pirate offense.

Hendrick’s first double, which drove in what turned out to be the winning run, came in the third inning when he grounded a ball down the third-base line to score Johnny Ray and break a 1-1 tie.

The Pirates are 14 games back, but Manager Chuck Tanner is still cautiously optimistic.

“The team is definitely stronger with (center fielder) Marvell Wynne back in the lineup,” Tanner said. “I hope our momentum has changed. Once before we won two in a row but then we lost seven.”

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St. Louis 6, Philadelphia 2--Tom Lawless drove in three runs with a pair of singles, and Vince Coleman singled three times and scored twice to spark the Cardinals at St. Louis.

The victory was the fifth straight and ninth in the last 11 outings for the Cardinals, who moved into second place in the NL East, just one-half game behind the Expos.

Winner John Tudor (5-7) gave up six hits before leaving with no one out in the ninth. Reliever Jeff Lahti shut the door on the Phillies after they scored a run on Bo Diaz’s RBI groundout.

Philadelphia left-hander Steve Carlton (1-7) took the loss. Coleman’s leadoff single got the Cardinals rolling in the fifth, when they scored four times with the benefit of only two hits.

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Cincinnati 6, San Francisco 1--Frank Pastore, who hadn’t started since April 25, went the distance, stopping the Giants on four hits at San Francisco.

Pastore (2-0) allowed four singles while walking one and striking out three to break the Giants’ three-game winning streak. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced.

The Reds gave Pastore plenty of support but player-manager Pete Rose went 0 for 3 and still needs 46 hits to break Ty Cobb’s record of 4,191.

“I get very positive vibes, at Candlestick,” said Pastore (2-0). “San Francisco is my favorite city on the road. I like the environment.”

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The Giants aided the Reds’ cause surrendering four unearned runs. Bill Laskey (1-8) took the loss.

Atlanta 3, Houston 2--Glenn Hubbard led off the eighth inning with a home run to lift the Braves past the Astros at Atlanta.

With the score tied at 2-2, Hubbard ripped reliever Julio Solano’s first pitch for his second home run of the season. Bruce Sutter (4-2), who surrendered a tying home run by Bill Doran in the eighth, worked the ninth without incident to get the victory. It was the fourth straight time Sutter has lost a lead.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off starter Ron Mathis on Dale Murphy’s 16th home run.

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