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National League Roundup : Mets Top Cardinals Again, Adding Injury to Clark to Insult

The New York Mets may not repeat as Eastern Division champions, but they may be knocking the St. Louis Cardinals out of the race--literally.

Howard Johnson hit a two-run home run in the 10th inning Wednesday night at St. Louis to give the Mets a 6-4 victory, their second in a row over the division leaders. But that’s only part of the story.

For the third time this season and for the second night in a row, the Mets put a Cardinal star out of action.

Early in the season, in a freak accident, rookie Met catcher Barry Lyons crashed into the Cardinal dugout while chasing a foul and broke the leg of ace pitcher John Tudor. The left-hander is still out of action.

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Tuesday night, when the Cardinals blew a lead and also lost, 6-4, All-Star shortstop Ozzie Smith suffered a sprained ankle when he was tagged out at the plate.

But the worst blow may have been delivered in the fourth inning Wednesday night. The Cardinals lost first baseman Jack Clark, the key to their offense, with elbow and shoulder injuries.

Clark was hurt while trying to catch pitcher Rick Horton’s wild throw, when he was knocked over by Mookie Wilson of the Mets. Although X-rays revealed no broken bones, it was not determined when the major leagues’ runs batted in leader with 91 would return to action.

The Cardinal losing streak was extended to six games by Johnson’s 24th home run, and they lead Montreal by only five games and the Mets by 6 1/2.

All the news for the Cardinals, though, was not bad. Smith, although he didn’t start Wednesday night, did play in the late innings.

Saturday, Tudor is scheduled to make a start against Pittsburgh, and next week, Danny Cox, the Cardinals’ No. 2 pitcher, is scheduled to come off the disabled list.

Cincinnati 15, San Diego 5--Dave Parker drove in six runs with a home run and a single at Cincinnati, and the Reds pounded out 19 hits to overwhelm the club with the worst record in the league.

Montreal 11, Chicago 3--At Chicago, Mitch Webster hit a two-run home run, Tim Wallach and Vance Law hit solo shots, while Bryn Smith shut the Cubs out until the seventh on four hits.

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Atlanta 5, Houston 3--Undoubtedly, Nolan Ryan is the best 13-game loser in the majors. The strikeout king lost his eighth in a row in this game at Atlanta as the Astros committed four errors, and the Braves scored four runs, three of them unearned, off Ryan in 5 innings.

Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 3--In this game at Pittsburgh, Milt Thompson hit a two-run home run and Von Hayes also homered to give the Phillies their 10th win in 11 games with the Pirates this season.


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