The other baseball team in New York is known as the Bronx Bombers, but there is no shortage of power on the team from Queens, even when the Mets are on the road.
With catcher Gary Carter leading the way, the Mets lit up San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium Tuesday night, pounding the Padres, 8-3. Carter hit three consecutive home runs and drove in six runs to keep the New Yorkers, winners of three straight, within one game of the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the East.
Carter, continuing a binge that has produced six homers in his last five games, hit a two-run homer in the first inning after a walk to Keith Hernandez. He led off the fourth with another home run against San Diego starter Dave Dravecky (11-9), and then Darryl Strawberry followed with his 22nd homer of the season for a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth, Tom Paciorek and Hernandez singled with one out, chasing Dravecky. Carter then hit an 0-and-2 pitch from Luis DeLeon into the left-field seats for his 23rd homer of the season and a 7-0 margin.
Carter got up again in the seventh but grounded into an inning-ending double play. He was then left on deck as Hernandez struck out to end the Mets’ ninth.
The game marked the second time in Carter’s career that he had hit three homers in one game. He did it on April 20, 1977, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is the fifth player in the major leagues to homer three times in a game this season. Strawberry, Baltimore’s Eddie Murray, Seattle’s Gorman Thomas and Texas’ Larry Parrish have also accomplished the feat.
“That’s a thrill of a lifetime,” Carter said. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world to have a night like this. There was no disappointment. Only 10 players in the history of the game have hit four in a game. I’m just proud to hit three.”
The Padres, who are eight games behind the Dodgers, hit three solo home runs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Carter’s efforts.
St. Louis 6, Cincinnati 4--At St. Louis, pinch-hitter Brian Harper delivered a two-run double in the seventh inning to make a winner of Jeff Lahti, who shut out the Reds in the final 2 innings.
With teammates Cesar Cedeno and Tom Herr on base, Harper, pinch-hitting for Darrell Porter, laced a 2-1 pitch down the left-field line, scoring both runners and snapping a 4-4 tie.
Cincinnati player-manager Pete Rose did not play. He needs six hits to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. However, Rose engaged St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog in a battle of wits in the top of the seventh.
Trailing, 4-2, the Reds tied the score, despite St. Louis using a record-tying five pitchers. Bo Diaz singled to lead off and Tom Runnells pinch-ran. Starter Bob Forsch walked Ron Oester, and left-hander Rick Horton relieved. He gave up a single to pinch-hitter Nick Esasky to load the bases and Herzog brought in right-hander Todd Worrell, who struck out pinch-hitter Gary Redus.
Southpaw Ken Dayley came on and caught pinch-hitter Eric Davis looking at a fastball for the inning’s second out. But Dave Parker hit a two-run double over third base to score Runnells and Oester and tie the score. Lahti then came in and got Tony Perez to fly out.
Philadelphia 4, San Francisco 3--Ozzie Virgil led off the 13th inning with his 18th home run of the season to send the streaking Phillies, winners of six straight, past the Giants at San Francisco.
Mike Schmidt also homered--No. 24--but he credited pitching rather than power for the Phillies’ recent surge, which moved them past the Cubs into fourth place in the East.
Schmidt was referring to rookies Dave Shipanoff and Fred Toliver. Shipanoff retired the side in the 12th to earn his first victory, and Toliver struck out Chili Davis and Jeff Leonard in the 13th to get his first save.
Houston 8, Chicago 7--Kevin Bass had four hits for the first time in his career, and Phil Garner drove in three runs, but it was pinch-hitter Bill Doran’s suicide squeeze bunt in the 10th inning which carried the Astros past the Cubs at Chicago.
Mark Bailey opened the 10th with a single off George Frazier (7-6), but was forced at second by Denny Walling. However, Bert Pena singled to left to send Walling to third. Lee Smith replaced Frazier, and Doran dropped the game-winner in front of the plate. Smith threw out Doran, but Walling scored to give Houston its sixth victory in the last seven games.
Atlanta 2, Pittsburgh 0--Only 3,019 turned out at Three Rivers Stadium to see the Pirates shut out for the 18th time this season, tops in the National League.
Hard-luck pitcher Jose DeLeon (2-16) lost again, despite surrendering just six hits. The Pirates have been shut out seven times when DeLeon, who struck out 10, has been the starting pitcher.