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National League Roundup : Padres Playing Role of Spoilers, Beat Reds

It’s more than likely that the San Diego Padres will fall a little short of winning the National League West. But they certainly are enjoying their role as spoilers.

Fresh from knocking the San Francisco Giants out of the race, the Padres put a crimp in the Cincinnati Reds’ division-title hopes with a 1-0 victory Wednesday night at San Diego.

Andy Hawkins held the Reds to four hits in 8 innings and won his 14th when sensational reliever Mark Davis came in to strike out Luis Quinones and Nick Esasky to save it.

The Padres’ sixth consecutive victory put them just 1 1/2 games behind the third-place Reds.

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It was the 27th save for Davis. The hard-throwing left-hander extended his scoreless string to 27 innings.

When the Padres won only 13 of their first 39 games, they probably blew their pennant hopes. But, since Jack McKeon replaced Larry Bowa as manager, they have the best record in the league, 54-37.

They have won 19 of their last 27.

It was a tough loss for the Reds. Ron Robinson, twice on the disabled list because of elbow troubles, was only supposed to go four innings. He lost it in the fourth when Roberto Alomar singled and came all the way home when Tony Gwynn’s single went past right fielder Dave Collins to the fence for an error.

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Chicago 9, New York 8--When the Cubs traded away Lee Smith, an outstanding relief pitcher, during the offseason, they failed to come up with an adequate replacement. They have lost numerous games without a prominent closer.

It almost cost them again in this game at Chicago. Young Jeff Pico took an 8-3 lead into the ninth inning. For want of a bullpen ace, Manager Don Zimmer stayed too long with Pico and, when Keith Hernandez hit a two-out, three-run home run, the Mets were a run behind.

Drew Hall replaced Pico. Darryl Strawberry greeted him with his 32nd home run and it was a tie game.

When Rafael Palmeiro tripled off Roger McDowell to open the bottom of the ninth and one-out later Damon Berryhill singled, the Cubs escaped.

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Ironically, Rich Gossage, who failed as the top man of the Cub bullpen, got the final out in the top of the ninth and was the winner.

But Pico had nothing to show for his fine performance and Ron Darling, who gave up eight hits and six runs in four innings, escaped the defeat.

Pittsburgh 5, Montreal 4--It was Doug Drabek’s ninth win in his last 10 decisions, but the Pirate pitching star wasn’t bragging about this performance at Pittsburgh.

Drabek (14-6) gave up all the Expos’ runs and seven hits in 6 innings. Jeff Robinson and Jim Gott shut down the Expos the rest of the way. Gott, who struck out two of the three batters he faced, got his 27th save.

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“I wouldn’t exactly call it a good outing,” Drabek said. “The hitters scored enough runs for me and the relievers saved it. I’ve had better games.”

In his last 12 starts in which he is 9-1, Drabek has a 1.78 earned-run average.

The Pirates kept their slim hopes alive and cut the Mets’ lead to eight games.

An error by second baseman Tom Foley set up two unearned runs in the first inning and the Pirates were never caught.

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St. Louis 5, Philadelphia 0--Joe Magrane’s late season spurt is showing Cardinal fans what might have been.

The left-hander is one of several Cardinal starters who spent a long time on the disabled list and ruined the team’s chances of repeating.

Right now, there isn’t a better pitcher in the league. In this game at St. Louis, Magarane pitched a seven-hitter for his second shutout in a row and lowered his ERA to 2.03. He is only 4-8.

Terry Pendleton went 3 for 3 and drove in two runs.

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Atlanta 4, San Francisco 1--Tom Glavine gave up just three hits at San Francisco and pitched his first complete game. With the Giants fading from the pennant race, only 4,910 attended at Candlestick Park.

Glavine (6-15) allowed a double and two singles in handing the Giants their sixth defeat in a row.

Ron Gant, batting .407 against the Giants, hit a two-run home run in the fourth.


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