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National League Roundup : Downbeat Domestand Drops Astros 5 Behind Dodgers; L.A. Is Next

The homestand that was supposed to put the Houston Astros in a favorable position in the National League West wound up on a disastrous note Tuesday night.

Kal Daniels hit two home runs and Tom Browning pitched the Cincinnati Reds to a 10-3 victory.

When the Astros began an 11-game stand at home Aug. 26, they trailed the Dodgers by 4 1/2 games. After going just 6-5, they will go into Dodger Stadium tonight in worse shape, five behind, six in the loss column.

While the Dodgers, with their two big guns, Mike Marshall and Kirk Gibson, ailing, have gone into a hitting slump, the healthy Astros aren’t doing much at the plate, either.

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They won Monday night because pitcher Bob Forsch tripled in all three runs. Tuesday night, they were behind, 10-0, in the ninth before scoring three times.

The Reds, who believe they have a chance to win the West, moved to within 6 1/2 games of the Dodgers. They, too, are six behind in the loss column.

The Astros have 24 games remaining. They play 14 of them on the road where they are only 32-35. The Reds have 25 left, but only 11 on the road.

It was a meeting of two former college teammates, Browning and the Astros’ Jim Deshaies (9-12). Both went to LeMoyne at Syracuse, N.Y.

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They have met three times this season and Browning has won them all.

“I’m sorry Jimmy had to take the loss,” Browning said. “I just want to go out and be consistent. The team has played great defense for me and scored a lot of runs for me. In Chicago we were down by five and they pulled it out.”

Deshaies lost for the fourth time in his last five decisions.

“Tonight we had a chance to gain on the Dodgers,” Deshaies said. “But we didn’t take advantage. We need to start worrying about our game and not the Dodgers.”

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Dave Collins hit Deshaies’ first pitch of the game for a triple and Chris Sabo hit the next one for a scoring fly deep to left, giving the Reds the lead in a hurry.

Pittsburgh 3, New York 2--Glenn Wilson hit a two-run double in the first inning at Pittsburgh and the Pirates delayed the inevitable, cutting the Mets’ lead in the East to nine games.

John Smiley held the Mets to five hits in 8 innings to put an end to the Mets’ three-game winning streak and the Pirates’ four-game losing streak.

With only 26 games left, there isn’t much doubt the Mets will win it, mainly because the Pirates have spent the last half of the season in a horrible slump.

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They only had five hits off Bob Ojeda (9-13) and another off Roger McDowell. In their last 42 games they are 16-26 and have barely batted over .200.

The Mets haven’t been doing all that well at the plate themselves. But they apparently have come up with a new young hitter. Gregg Jefferies, the 21-year-old infielder brought up Aug. 27 from the minors, had two hits, including a ninth-inning home run. It was his third in his brief major league career.

“We’re in great shape,” Mets’ shortstop Kevin Elster said. “We came in to at least get a split and we got it.”

St. Louis 1, Montreal 0--For one game at least, Jose DeLeon was glad to have Dennis Martinez assume his role as a hard-luck pitcher.

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DeLeon had one of his finest games in this one at St. Louis. He pitched a three-hitter, struck out 12, had two hits and scored the only run of the game.

Martinez also pitched a three-hitter. But DeLeon sliced a two-out double to right in the third and scored on a single by Vince Coleman. Coleman broke out of an 0-for-21 slump.

The run was the first earned run Martinez (15-11) has yielded to the Cardinals in 34 innings this season.

Philadelphia 3, Chicago 2--Marvin Freeman held the Cubs to four hits in seven innings and won his first victory for the Phillies in a night game at Wrigley Field.

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Juan Samuel singled home two runs in the fifth to give Freeman the lead and Steve Bedrosian pitched the ninth for his 25th save.

San Diego 4, San Francisco 3--Tim Flannery’s two-out, pinch double in the ninth inning at San Francisco scored Roberto Alomar from first to give the Padres a victory that extended their winning streak to five games.

The Padres, who have won 9 of their last 12 games, took over fourth place in the West, percentage points ahead of the Giants, who lost their fifth straight game.

Alomar, who reached base on a fielder’s choice, scored when Flannery hit a drive into the left-field corner off reliever Scott Garrelts (5-8). Flannery was batting for winning pitcher Dennis Rasmussen (13-8).

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