National League Roundup : Reds, Minus Larkin, Dibble, Lose to Expos, 6-3

The Cincinnati Reds’ hopes of overtaking the San Francisco Giants in the National League West were dealt a severe blow Thursday when they lost shortstop Barry Larkin with an elbow injury.

Larkin has ligament damage in his right elbow, suffered in a throwing exhibition on the day before the All-Star game. He is almost certain to be out for two weeks and possibly for as many as six weeks.

In a league with only three batters over .300, Larkin has beenas having a phenomenal season. He is second in hitting with a .340 average and has 107 hits.

Also lost is Rob Dibble, the No. 2 man out of the bullpen, who was suspended for three days after being a main combatant in a fight with the New York Mets. The suspension will not start until the controversial right-hander comes off the disabled list. He has a sore elbow.


It was not surprising that in their return to action, the Reds lost, 6-3, to the Eastern Division leaders, Montreal, at Cincinnati in their first game after the All-Star break.

Dennis Martinez survived a rocky start to win his ninth game in a row and improve his record to 10-1. Paul O’Neill hit a double and a home run to give the Reds a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

Martinez then settled down and even drove in a run for the Expos. His only loss was on April 25 to the Reds.

The Expos (50-38) are 12 games over .500 for their best record this season and lead the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs by 2 1/2 games.


New York 5, Atlanta 1--Even in a down season, Ron Darling can handle the Braves. Darling, who has struggled this year, gave up just five hits at Atlanta to improve his record to 9-1 against the Braves.

Keith Hernandez of the Mets, who missed two months with a broken kneecap, returned to the lineup, going 1 for 4 and driving in a run.

Darryl Strawberry and Gregg Jefferies hit home runs for the Mets, who are 5-0 against the Braves this season.

Manager Davey Johnson plans on bringing Hernandez along slowly. “He’ll play one day, rest one day, play a day and rest again,” Johnson said. “Then we’ll see.”


With Hernandez at first base, Johnson put Dave Magadan at third and moved Howard Johnson to shortstop, benching light-hitting Kevin Elster.

Chicago 7, San Diego 3--Jerome Walton was 4 for 4 and drove in two runs at San Diego, but his baserunning left something to be desired.

Walton was picked off first base, was out trying to stretch a double into a triple and was also cut down trying to steal home.

Greg Maddux (9-7), although he needed help in the seventh inning, improved his record against the Padres to 5-0.


Philadelphia 11-0, Houston 4-3--After being bombed out in the opener of the doubleheader at Philadelphia, the Astros earned a split on the pitching of Bob Forsch.

Mark Davidson hit a two-run home run, his first National League hit, and Forsch gave up just four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

In the opener, Bruce Ruffin (3-3) took another step along the comeback trail, winning his third game in a row since returning from the minors.

San Francisco 3, Pittsburgh 2--Will Clark lined a single to left field to score Brett Butler from second base with none out in the 13th inning at Candlestick Park.


The winning rally began when Butler led off the 13th with a line-drive single off third baseman Bobby Bonilla’s glove. Miguel Garcia (0-2) then allowed a bunt single to Robby Thompson, setting the stage for Clark.

Jeff Brantley (5-0), who pitched the final four innings, has been the winning pitcher in five of the last six Giant victories.