NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Reds Recall Scudder and He Defeats Cardinals

It was about this time last season that the Cincinnati Reds started having problems. Although they were leading the West, injuries were beginning to take their toll, and Manager Pete Rose was being investigated on gambling charges.

Under new Manager Lou Piniella, the Reds are once again leading the division. This time, there are no problems.

Scott Scudder, a young right-hander, was brought up from triple-A Nashville Friday to replace injured starter Rick Mahler in the rotation, and he pitched impressively Sunday at St. Louis.

Scudder held the Cardinals to five hits in 7 1/3 innings and the Reds won, 5-1. It was their fourth victory in a row. The Reds lead the West by five games.


Piniella seems to be making all the right managerial decisions. He gave second baseman Mariano Duncan, baseball’s leading hitter, most of the day off. His replacement, Ron Oester, who lost the job he held for 10 years to Duncan in spring training, went three for four and drove in a run. Duncan came in as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and tripled to highlight a two-run ninth that wrapped up the victory.

When Danny Jackson and other pitchers were hurt last season, the Reds brought up Scudder. They thought he was rushed when he posted a 4-9 record and started him out in the American Assn. this season. He was 3-1 when the Reds decided to summon him again.

San Diego 8, Chicago 3--Padre Manager Jack McKeon gave first baseman Jack Clark the day off in Chicago after he played both games of Saturday’s doubleheader and dropped leadoff man Roberto Alomar into the No. 3 spot in the order.

It proved to be the right move. Alomar had four hits to lead a 15-hit attack that helped Ed Whitson improve his record to 3-1 with his third complete game, an eight-hitter.

Alomar scored a run and drove in two. Joe Carter, who batted fourth instead of third with Clark out, drove in three runs.

“Ed gave us a typical performance,” McKeon said. “He’s steady. I can always expect nine out of him. He’s the most consistent pitcher I have.”

Montreal 7, San Francisco 0--Mark Gardner is a 28-year-old right-hander from Fresno State who pitched in the minors for five years before making it to the majors.

In seven games with the Expos late last season, he had only three defeats to show for his effort. He also had two more this season. When he finally won his first game, it was a special occasion.

Gardner didn’t just win. He pitched a complete-game, six-hitter. He has pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings.

A six-run sixth inning broke up a scoreless battle between Gardner and Atlee Hammaker.

Pittsburgh 6-4, Atlanta 4-2--The amazing Neal Heaton won another and Doug Drabek pitched and batted the Pirates to a sweep at Pittsburgh.

A year ago the Pirates kept Heaton only because they didn’t have enough pitchers to complete a staff. Since last August, the veteran left-hander has been unbeatable. He won his last five decisions in 1989 and now has a string of 10 victories in a row.

Sid Bream hit a three-run homer in the five-run fifth that enabled Heaton, who gave up just four hits and two runs in seven innings, to earn his fifth victory.

In the second game, Drabek, who is hitting .300, singled to start a two-run third inning and gave up four hits and a run in seven innings to improve to 5-1.

New York 7-7, Houston 4-6--Kevin McReynolds, the Mets’ leading hitter, had only two home runs in the team’s first 23 games this season. He made up for that in this sweep at New York.

McReynolds hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning to cap a four-run rally after reliever John Franco balked in the go-ahead run in the top of the inning.

McReynolds homered off Dave Smith, only the third homer he has given up in his last 204 innings.

In the second game, McReynolds homered in the eighth inning to break a 6-6 tie. The Astros squandered a 6-2 lead. Former Dodger Alejandro Pena pitched two hitless innings to get the win.

In the opener, the Astros scored three times in the first inning, but couldn’t hold it against a team with a .220 batting average. In the second game, the lead was four runs going into the sixth.