Darryl Strawberry hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning Tuesday night at Atlanta to climax a comeback that gave the New York Mets a 10-5 victory over the Braves and extended their winning streak to 10 games.
It was more than just another defeat for the Braves. Dale Murphy, their best player, crashed into the fence catching a fly ball hit by Keith Hernandez in the third inning. Murphy suffered a deep gash in his right hand that required nine stitches.
Murphy, who had not sat out a game since the 1981 season, is expected to miss tonight’s game. His string of 675 consecutive games is the 14th longest in major league history.
“The panels of the plexiglass just separated,” Murphy told the Associated Press. “and it sliced my finger when it closed.
“I’m not going to just make a token appearance. I can still hit with the stitches in, but nobody’s recommending me to play tomorrow.”
The Braves, who chased Ron Darling in the fourth, built a 5-2 lead for Rick Mahler. The Mets got two of them back in the fifth. Left-handed relief pitcher Craig McMurtry retired the first two Mets in the sixth, but Wally Backman singled and Hernandez walked. On a 3-and-2 pitch, the left-handed hitting Strawberry hit a drive over the center field fence.
Relievers Bruce Berenyi and Roger McDowell shut out the Braves the rest of the way.
It was only the second home run of the season for Strawberry and his third game-winning RBI.
“I knew it was just a matter of time before I came through with a big hit,” Strawberry said. “We just have to keep playing good baseball.”
Montreal 7, Cincinnati 4--Mario Soto gave up a league-high 30 home runs last season and is on his way to throwing even more this year.
Soto served up four home runs in the fourth inning at Montreal to tie a major league record and has eight in five games.
Andre Dawson hit his sixth home run to launch the assault. Hubie Brooks and Tim Wallach also hit solo home runs, and Mike Fitzgerald hit his with one on to complete the five-run inning. The Expos have hit 27 home runs in 17 games this season.
The Expos have hit two or more home runs in seven consecutive games.
This barrage made it easy for Bryn Smith (2-2), who tired in the ninth. The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, the run ending a string of 21 scoreless innings.
It was the fourth loss in a row for the Reds, and Manager Pete Rose showed his frustration by getting ejected in the ninth inning after being called out on strikes. In his first start of the season, Rose was 0 for 4.
Philadelphia 12, Houston 4--Mike Schmidt hit a three-run home run in the first inning at Philadelphia to start Nolan Ryan on his way to a loss, but it was light-hitting Luis Aguayo who added insult to injury.
Aguayo hit a two-run home run that climaxed a six-run first that saddled Ryan with his third defeat. The home runs were the only hits off Ryan, but he walked three and struck out two in his one inning.
Schmidt later hit a sacrifice fly and has 19 runs batted in this season.
The big first inning enabled Shane Rawley to improve his record to 3-1 despite a poor outing. The left-hander needed help in the seventh after giving up 12 hits and walking four.
San Diego 5, Chicago 4--LaMarr Hoyt, in his first start of the season, gave up only two hits and one earned run in five innings at San Diego, but he seemed destined for defeat.
But Terry Kennedy hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to climax a four-run rally and give the Padres the victory.
Rick Sutcliffe held the Padres to four hits and one run until the ninth. When he faltered, Ray Fontenot took over and served up the home run to Kennedy.
Both runs off Hoyt came in the first inning. The second was unearned because Kennedy let a throw to the plate get away from him.
San Francisco 2, St. Louis 0--With Jack Clark and Ozzie Smith out of the lineup because of injuries, the Cardinals continued their deep hitting slump. Clark has a sore shin, and Smith’s shoulder is bothering him.
Mike LaCoss, in his first major league start in two years, held the Cardinals to three hits in 7 innings at San Francisco. Greg Minton retired the last five batters to earn his third save.