National League Roundup : Mets Start to Finish Off the Pirates With 7-5 Win, Lead by 10 Games
The New York Mets came to Pittsburgh not to praise the Pirates, but to bury them. That’s exactly what happened Monday.
Mookie Wilson hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning following Lee Mazzilli’s tie-breaking sacrifice fly as the Mets beat the Pirates, 7-5, to stretch their lead in the East to a season-high 10 games.
David Cone (15-3) pitched seven innings for his sixth victory in seven decisions and Darryl Strawberry hit a solo homer run as the Mets won for the 9th time in 11 games. They are 11-4 against the second-place Pirates, who have lost four in a row and 26 of their last 41.
“We made a major statement today,” Cone said. “I’m not going to say something stupid . . . like it’s over, but I like the position that we’re in. If we had come in here and gotten swept (in two games), that would have given them some hope. Now they’ve really got to battle to get back in it.”
With the score tied, 3-3, in the eighth, Kevin McReynolds and Gary Carter singled to greet Jeff Robinson (9-3), who suffered his first loss since June 23. Pinch-hitter Dave Magadan walked with one out to load the bases.
After Mazzilli lofted his sacrifice fly to deep center, Wilson hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall for his sixth homer of the season. Wilson is hitting .377 in his last 12 games and had 4 RBIs, tying his career high.
“Is it over? Not yet, not yet,” Wilson said. “I don’t believe in assuming too much. . . . If we get five more games up, I’ll be satisfied.”
Pittsburgh trailed New York by just a half game on July 23 and 3 1/2 on Aug. 22.
“If we don’t win it, we don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves,” Pirate Manager Jim Leyland said. “We haven’t beat them head-to-head. . . . They’re 10 games ahead of us, but they’re ahead of some good teams by a lot more than that.”
St. Louis 6, Montreal 2--Pedro Guerrero drove in three runs and Scott Terry won his fifth straight game as the Cardinals broke the Expos’ four-game winning streak at St. Louis.
Terry (7-3) benefited from a four-run fifth inning keyed by three consecutive infield errors, including two by shortstop Rex Hudler. Terry, who retired the first 13 batters and gave up 4 hits in 7 innings, has allowed only 7 earned runs in 41 innings in his last 6 starts.
Guerrero, the former Dodger, hit a two-run single for the only hit of the Cardinals’ four-run fifth inning and hit his seventh homer in the seventh.
Chicago 14-3, Philadelphia 3-4--Rick Jordan had six hits on the day, including a two-run home run in the seventh inning of the nightcap that gave the Phillies a doubleheader split at Chicago.
Philadelphia rallied in the seventh, when Phil Bradley tripled in two runs and Jordan hit his eighth home run off Scott Sanderson (1-1). Jordan had three singles in the first game and two in the second before his homer. Mike Harkey of Cal State Fullerton, a first round draft pick of the Cubs, made his major league debut in the second game. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Shane Rawley (7-13) gave up 3 runs and 11 hits in 6 innings. Steve Bedrosian pitched the final 2 innings for his 24th save.
In the first game, the Cubs scored eight runs in the third inning to start the rout.
Chicago starter Rick Sutcliffe (12-11) gave up 11 hits in 7 innings. Mark Grace, another rookie, drove in three runs, two in the big inning.
Houston 3, Cincinnati 0--Bob Forsch pitched eight shutout innings and doubled in all three runs in the fifth inning at Houston in his Astro debut.
Forsch (10-4), who was acquired from St. Louis for Denny Walling on Aug. 31, is 6-1 since the All-Star break. Dave Smith worked the ninth inning for his 25th save.
The loss dropped the Reds 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the West.
San Diego 7, San Francisco 4--Eric Show pitched a six-hitter and sparked a five-run fifth inning with a single at San Francisco to lead the Padres to their fourth straight win.
The Padres have won 13 of their last 17 games to pull to within one game of the fourth-place Giants in the West. San Francisco has dropped 4 straight and 10 of their last 12.
The victory also gave the Padres a 68-67 record, the first time they have been above .500 since July 19, 1986.