The San Francisco Giants' hitters were getting tired of hearing how the pitchers were carrying the club, how they wouldn't be contenders without their outstanding pitching.
With backup second baseman Chris Speier, a .191 batter, hitting for the cycle, the Giants jumped on National League earned-run average leader John Tudor and two of his four successors in a 21-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday at Candlestick Park.
It was the most runs scored by the Giants since they moved to San Francisco. After not hitting a home run since July 1, they hit five. They also became the second baseball franchise to hit 10,000 homers. The New York Yankees passed that figure earlier this season.
Ernest Riles, a late-inning replacement at shortstop, hit No. 10,000, his first homer as a Giant, in the eighth.
However, the Giant pitchers' string of shutout innings ended at 30. They were working on a fourth consecutive shutout until the Cardinals scored twice in the fourth inning off Kelly Downs (8-7).
Tudor (4-4) came into the game with an ERA of 1.72. After giving up five runs in two innings, it increased to 2.13. But it was Bob Forsch and Steve Peters who absorbed the brunt of the Giants' 20-hit attack. Each gave up eight runs.
Speier, a replacement for ailing Robby Thompson, had five hits for the first time in his 18-year career--two doubles, a homer, a triple and a single.
Kevin Mitchell had four hits, and Will Clark hit his 20th home run as the Giants totaled 20 hits.
As a team, the Giants were batting .248. In a 1-0 victory Friday night, they managed only six hits, all singles.
"I'd much rather lose, 8-7," Cardinal Manager Whitey Herzog said. "I wish we were playing a doubleheader today. We would have had them tired out for the second game."
The loss was a fitting climax to a bad first half for the defending National League champion Cardinals. The troubles began when their one power hitter, Jack Clark, rejected an offer and signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees in January.
Spring training was all but ruined when most of the club came down with the flu. The Cardinals have put 13 players on the disabled list, including all four pitchers who started games in last fall's championship series against the Giants. A year ago at the All-Star break, the Cardinals were 56-30 and led the East by 9 games. With one game left before the break this season, they are 38-47 and 14 1/2 games out.
Houston 6, New York 3--At Houston, Nolan Ryan ended his five-game losing streak and became the second pitcher to win 100 games for a club in each league. Cy Young was the first.
Ryan, 41, still throwing in excess of 92 m.p.h. in his 20th major league season, gave up three runs in the first two innings. After that, he pitched well until he tired in the eighth. In 7 innings, Ryan (6-7) gave up 8 hits and 3 earned runs, struck out 5 and walked 3.
Ryan, who began his career with the Mets, won 138 games for the Angels.
"I don't know how long I'll pitch," Ryan said. "I'll make the evaluation at the end of the season. I do expect to pitch next year, though."
Montreal 9, Atlanta 4--It may be a little late to make a mark in the National League East, but the Expos are playing the best ball in the division.
In this game at Atlanta, Hubie Brooks drove in three runs, and Dennis Martinez improved his record to 9-7 as the Expos won their sixth in a row and ninth in the last 10 games.
Martinez gave up 6 hits in 7 innings and no earned runs, leaving with a 9-2 lead.
Andres Galarraga hit his 20th home run, and Tim Raines, just off the disabled list, had 2 hits, scored 2 runs and drove in 2.
Cincinnati 6, Philadelphia 3--It was a meeting between the league's two worst defensive teams at Cincinnati.
The Phillies made two errors and lead the Reds, 80-79, in that category.
A throwing error by catcher John Russell on a steal by Chris Sabo put the tiebreaking run in position to score on Eric Davis' double in the seventh. Nick Esasky followed with his seventh home run to give rookie Ron Dibble his first victory.
Phillie starter Bruce Ruffin made three wild pitches and walked two in the third inning to lose a 3-1 lead.
San Diego 4, Chicago 2--Maybe five days' rest is too much for Rick Sutcliffe, who didn't make it through the third inning at San Diego.
Sutcliffe (7-6), who gave up only 2 runs in 14 innings of his 2 previous starts, gave up 3 runs and 6 hits in 2 innings.
Ed Whitson (8-5) needed relief help in the seventh as he won his fifth in a row.