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National League Roundup : Giants Stop Astros’ Rally to Get 5-4 Win

If the Houston Astros fail to win the National League West--and their chances of winning have been getting slimmer every day--they can point to Friday night’s game as the last straw.

Trailing the San Francisco Giants, 5-4, at Houston, the Astros loaded the bases with no outs. Furthermore, they had two of their best hitters coming up, Kevin Bass and Glenn Davis.

But Craig Lefferts came out of the bullpen to get Bass on a pop up and made Davis, who has 94 runs batted in, bounce into a game-ending double play.

With Tom Browning pitching a perfect game against the Dodgers, the Astros blew a chance to cut into the lead in the West. Instead, they trail by 7 with 15 games remaining.

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Left-hander Bob Knepper shut out the Giants on 2 hits for 5 innings. But a walk, a double and a hit batsman loaded the bases. Larry Andersen relieved Knepper, but he ran into trouble. Mike Aldrete and Kirt Manwaring each drove in two runs in a five-run rally that was barely enough.

Lefferts came in with two on and nobody out and walked Bill Doran to load the bases.

“I threw three straight sliders to get Bass, so I thought I’d give the same pitch to Davis,” Lefferts said. “He did what I wanted, hit into the double play.”

The Astros took the loss hard.

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“I don’t think that there has been any loss this season that felt worse than this one,” catcher Alan Ashby said.

The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Buddy Bell’s seventh home run. The home run gave Bell and his father, Gus Bell, 407 home runs. They are tied with Yogi Berra and son Dale for the most home runs by a father-son combination.

Atlee Hammaker (8-8) allowed just one other hit through five innings, but he had to leave with a sore elbow. The big sixth made him a winner.

New York 4, Montreal 3--While the race tightened a bit in the West, the Mets rolled merrily on their way to the pennant in the East.

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Rookie sensation Gregg Jefferies broke out of an 0-for-13 slump with three hits at New York, including a game-winning single with two outs in the ninth.

The victory kept the Mets 11 games in front of Pittsburgh and dropped their magic number to six.

The Mets have won 18 of their last 23 and Jefferies has played a part in most of them. He has 27 hits in 68 at bats for a .397 average.

Pittsburgh 7, Philadelphia 5--Bobby Bonilla continued his late surge with three hits at Philadelphia to keep the Pirates alive.

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Bonilla drove in three runs and scored the winning run in the eighth on Sid Bream’s single. Bonilla started the winning rally with a single and stole second.

St. Louis 3, Chicago 0--Slowly, but surely, Jose DeLeon is losing his reputation for being a hard-luck pitcher.

With help from bullpen ace Todd Worrell, DeLeon (12-8) got his sixth straight victory and assured himself of his first winning season since he was 8-3 for Pittsburgh as a rookie in 1983.

Willie McGee, playing for the first time since straining his side Aug. 26, hit a fourth-inning triple to score the only run DeLeon needed.

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Former Dodger Pedro Guerrero was hit in the helmet on a pitch by rookie Mike Harkey in the fifth inning and had to leave the game.


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