Astros’ Reserves Get Eight RBIs as Cubs Fall, 11-6
The Houston Astros’ bench strength paid off as reserves batted in eight runs Wednesday to trigger an 11-6 victory over the Cubs and complete a three-game sweep at Chicago’s Wrigley Field for the first time in more than a decade.
Jerry Mumphrey drove in five runs with a two-run double in a five-run sixth and a three-run homer in the seventh and Tim Tolman added a pinch hit three-run homer in the sixth to spark the victory.
The sweep was the first by the Astros in a three-game at Wrigley Field since August, 1973.
“We got a lot of productivity out of the bench,” said Houston manager Bob Lillis. “We’ve had our troubles in this ballpark but we just happened to catch the Cubs when they were going bad.”
Mumphrey said he had been struggling until the past week when Houston took two of three at St. Louis and the three straight from the Cubs.
“I didn’t know it’s been so long since we’ve had a three-game sweep here but we’re playing well now,” Mumphrey said. “We’ve got a chance to get at the .500 mark now. There’s no substitute for winning.”
Tolman, who was only 2 of 26 this season, snapped a 6-6 tie with his first homer of the year.
“I didn’t get all of it but I don’t know how much the wind (blowing out at nine miles per hour) helped it,” Tolman said. “It’s been tough because I haven’t had a lot of at-bats this year. Pinch hitting is the toughest thing to do in baseball.”
Cubs’ manager Jim Frey, whose team must play at St. Louis today before returning home Friday to play Cincinnati, credited Houston for coming through off the bench.
“What did they have, eight RBI off the bench. They hit the ball real well in this series,” Frey said. “We wanted to get our middle relievers rested today. It just didn’t work out that way.”
The victory was Houston’s seventh in its last eight games.
Ryne Sandberg had four RBI, including a two-run homer, for Chicago.
Mike Scott, 15-7, earned the victory despite giving up six runs in five innings. Reliever Ron Meridith, 2-2, took the loss.
Trailing 6-3, Glenn Davis and Phil Garner walked off Johnny Abrego in the sixth. One out later, Mumphrey’s pinch hit double scored both runners. Bill Doran drew a two-out walk and Tolman hit a 1-0 pitch into the left-field bleachers.
In the seventh, Phil Garner and Mark Bailey singled and scored on Mumphrey’s homer, his sixth. Chicago had taken a 6-3 lead in the fifth on Sandberg’s two-run homer, his 22nd.
The Cubs went ahead 4-3 in the fourth. Leon Durham singled with one out and one out later went to third on Shawon Dunston’s double. Pinch hitter Billy Hatcher reached on an infield single, scoring Durham. Dunston came home on Scott’s wild pitch.
Garner’s fifth homer led off the fourth for a 3-2 Houston lead. Chicago tied it 2-2 in the third on Sandberg’s single that scored Dernier. In the first, Houston went ahead 2-0 on RBI doubles by Kevin Bass and Jose Cruz. The Cubs got one run in the first when Dernier scored on Sandberg’s forceout.
San Francisco 4, Philadelphia 3--It was fitting that the San Francisco Giants finally won a game with a home run, Manager Jim Davenport said.
“We’ve been hurt by the home run. It’s only fair we hurt someone else,” Davenport said after Rob Deer’s three-run homer with one out in the ninth inning gave the Giants a victory over the Phillies at San Francisco.
The Phillies, who had taken a 3-1 lead on Mike Schmidt’s two-run homer in the sixth, had a six-game winning streak halted. The Giants snapped a three-game losing skid.