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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Smoltz Loses No-Hitter, but He Still Wins

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From Associated Press

John Smoltz was two outs away from Atlanta’s first no-hitter in nearly 17 years when Len Dykstra doubled, but the Braves still beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-1, Sunday at Philadelphia.

After Ricky Jordan struck out leading off the ninth, Dykstra lined Smoltz’s 1-0 pitch down the right-field line. One out later, Von Hayes singled to right to spoil Smoltz’s shutout bid. But Smoltz got Rod Booker on a grounder to short to end the game and he finished with a two-hitter.

Smoltz, in his second season, is 5-0 against the Phillies. He was 4-0 last season. In 44 innings, he has allowed Philadelphia only 25 hits and has a 1.43 earned-run average.

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Smoltz entered the game having given up 49 hits and 31 runs in 46 innings for a 5.48 ERA.

“My shoulder was bothering me a little, and I didn’t feel good at all,” Smoltz said. “I had a pretty good fastball, and they seemed to be popping everything up.”

The last Atlanta pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Phil Niekro on Aug. 5, 1973, against San Diego.

There has never been a nine-inning no-hitter at Veterans Stadium. Montreal’s Pascual Perez pitched a five-inning no-hitter at Philadelphia on Sept. 24, 1988.

Dykstra, batting .404, led off the first inning with a sharp grounder to the right of second base that appeared headed for the outfield. But second baseman Jeff Treadway, who hit three homers Saturday, made a diving stop and threw Dykstra out by a step.

Nobody else came close to a hit for the Phillies until the ninth.

“Obviously, the guy had great stuff,” Dykstra said. “Give the guy credit, he had a good fastball all day. I hit a good fastball so he got beat with his best pitch.”

Smoltz (3-4) struck out eight and walked three, including Hayes twice. After walking Hayes in the seventh, Smoltz picked him off.

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Smoltz’s previous low-hit game was a five-hitter against the Phillies on July 2, 1989.

San Diego 8, New York 4--Joe Carter ended a one-for-19 slump with a home run and four RBIs and Phil Stephenson hit a three-run triple as the Padres won at New York.

In the bottom of the eighth, Padre reliever Greg Harris hit Kevin Elster in the back with a pitch, touching off a bench-clearing brawl. Elster charged the mound as the benches and bullpens of both teams emptied onto the field. Elster was ejected.

“There was no need for Harris to hit somebody in a situation like that,” Met Manager Dave Johnson said. “I was concerned that some of my guys might get hurt. I know it’s a judgment call, but I felt that Harris should have been ejected, too.”

Said Elster: “The umpires have got to be stupid if they didn’t think he threw at me intentionally.”

Padre Manager Jack McKeon didn’t see it that way. “Harris isn’t going to throw at a guy batting .162,” he said. “The pitch went behind him and just got away.”

Montreal 5, Cincinnati 3--The Reds blew a 3-0 lead in failing to sweep the four-game series at Montreal. The game was only the second in 25 this season that the Reds, now 17-5 on the road, have lost after scoring first.

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After Tim Raines homered in the fourth to help the Expos tie it at 3-3, Andres Galarraga homered in the fifth to put the Expos ahead.

The Reds were without Ken Griffey, who suffered a slightly sprained right ankle Saturday night when his cleats got caught in the artificial turf. He is expected back by mid-week.

Pittsburgh 5, San Francisco 2--Don Slaught and Barry Bonds homered in the Pirates’ three-run fifth inning, and Andy Van Slyke also homered at Pittsburgh.

The Pirates now have 40 homers in 43 games.

Neal Heaton improved to 8-1 and is 11-1 in his last 12 starts.

The Pirates are 26-17 this season, including 5-1 against the Giants, and lead the East by 1 1/2 games. Last Memorial Day, the Pirates were 19-27 and in fifth place.

Giant starter Rick Reuschel, a former Pirate, dropped to 2-6, as he went 0-6 in May. Last season, he was 6-0 in May.

Van Slyke, a career .475 hitter against Reuschel, went three for four and gave the Pirates a 4-2 lead with one out in the seventh with his sixth homer.

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Chicago 11, Houston 6--Ryne Sandberg had four hits, including two homers, and drove in four runs at Chicago as the Cubs ended a four-game losing streak.

The Cubs had a season-high 18 hits, including a homer and a single by Domingo Ramos and three singles by Shawon Dunston.

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