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National League Roundup : Browning Pitches One-Hitter, Beats Cubs, 2-0

Tom Browning, finally returning to his 1985 form, pitched a one-hitter Wednesday night at Cincinnati as the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs, 2-0.

Browning, the first rookie to win 20 games in the majors in 32 years, gave up a second-inning single to Jody Davis. He struck out a career-high nine batters and walked two in pitching his first complete game and improving his record to 3-5.

It has been a tough struggle against the sophomore jinx for the 25-year-old left-hander. In his previous 10 starts, he won only twice and had an earned-run average of 5.12. He had been belted around in his last three starts. In 12 innings of those three starts, he gave up 17 hits and 15 runs.

In this game, he pitched as he did late in the 1985 season, when he won his last 11 decisions. He permitted only one runner, Leon Durham, who walked before Davis singled, to reach second base. He outhit the Cubs, two hits to one, and drove in the only run he needed.

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The Reds finally decided Browning’s problem was that he had been trying to hit the corners with his breaking pitches, so he went back to his fastball.

“I had one thing in mind out there----go out and be aggressive, shut them down,” Browning told the Associated Press. “I threw a lot of fastballs. I went right at them tonight. I’ve got to do that to win.

“I don’t know what the problem was earlier. I can’t pinpoint why I wasn’t aggressive. I started thinking I was a pitcher who could work the outside part of the plate instead of going right at ‘em.”

Player-Manager Pete Rose, who doubled in the fourth inning for his third extra-base hit in 80 at-bats and scored the first run, was impressed.

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“He was throwing hard, above average----way above average,” Rose said. “He did it for nine innings.

Pittsburgh 12, Atlanta 3--It was generally agreed that the Pirates, in desperation, brought up Barry Bonds before he was ready. And when the 21-year-old son of former major league star Bobby Bonds managed only one hit in 10 at-bats in an opening series with the Dodgers, this assumption appeared to be true.

But at Atlanta, in his sixth game in the big leagues, young Bonds went 4 for 5, including his first home run, drove in four runs and scored four.

“It’s exciting to get your first home run,” the former Arizona State outfielder said, “but something to excite the ballclub is more important than hitting a home run.

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Former Dodger R.J. Reynolds also homered for the Pirates, and rookie Mike Bielecki, although giving up seven hits and five walks in 5 innings, improved his record to 4-3.

Houston 4, St. Louis 2--Mike Scott continued his strikeout binge at Houston and, for a change, got a victory, too. Scott fanned eight to increase his major league-leading total to 106.

With relief help from Dave Smith in the ninth inning, he improved his record to 5-4. Smith retired the Cardinals in order to record his league-leading 13th save.

Bill Doran led off the Houston first with his second home run, and the Astros never trailed.

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San Francisco 4, Montreal 2--The loss of regulars Dan Gladden and Will Clark because of injuries may have cut down on the moves Giant Manager Roger Craig can make, but it didn’t slow down his club.

Chili Davis, hitless in his previous 13 at-bats, tripled in two runs in the eighth inning at Montreal to bring the Giants from behind to their third win in June without a loss.

Jeff Robinson (3-1) pitched one-hit ball for three innings as the Giants remained 1 1/2 games out of first place in the West.

New York 4, San Diego 2--Kevin Mitchell doubled just inside third base in the eighth inning at New York to drive in George Foster with the go-ahead run, and Bruce Berenyi and Roger McDowell combined on a two-hitter.

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Berenyi gave up the hits, one a two-run home run by Tony Gwynn in the third inning. McDowell pitched three hitless innings to improve his record to 4-0.

Foster drove in the tying run in the sixth to give him 13 RBIs in nine games. He walked to open the eighth, went to second on Ray Knight’s infield hit and scored on the double.


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