NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Giants’ Burkett Bowls Over Cubs
John Burkett is used to throwing strikes in the bowling alley.
And this season, the right-hander is also doing it on the mound for the San Francisco Giants.
Burkett, a rookie who spent seven years in the minor leagues, gave up five hits in eight innings and singled in a run with his first major league hit to lead the Giants to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs Wednesday at Chicago.
“During the lockout I bowled in tournaments and picked up about $1,500,” said Burkett, who has a 225 average and three 300 games. “I once thought of being a professional bowler, but I’m glad I decided on baseball.”
Burkett (4-1) took a shutout into the eighth before Ryne Sandberg hit his 10th home run.
“He’s a good pitcher,” Giant Manager Roger Craig said. “Every pitch is a purpose pitch. He works fast and throws strikes and keeps the ball in play.”
Burkett singled in a run with two out in the second inning. The Giants added three more in the third on a run-scoring single by Kevin Mitchell and Matt Williams’ ninth homer, which was hit into the left-field bleachers against a 21-m.p.h wind.
Rookie Shawn Boskie (1-2) took the loss.
Montreal 9, Atlanta 6--The victory at Atlanta was a costly one because three Expo pitchers were injured.
Dennis Martinez, Montreal’s scheduled starter, reported a stiff neck while warming up and was replaced by Bill Sampen. Reliever Dave Schmidt (1-0) allowed three hits in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Sampen, but left in the seventh after one of Ron Gant’s three hits caromed off his leg.
Tim Burke left the game after injuring his right ankle covering first base in the ninth. Drew Hall, the fifth Montreal pitcher, got the last out for his second save.
Tim Wallach paced the Expos, driving in four runs with his 11th home run and two doubles.
The homer was Wallach’s 19th against the Braves, 14 of them coming in Atlanta.
Dave Martinez also hit a home run for the Expos, his first.
Dave Justice and Gant hit their second and seventh homers, respectively, for the Braves, who suffered their fifth defeat in seven games.
Tom Glavine (2-3) took the loss.
San Diego 8, Philadelphia 3--Bip Roberts, Tony Gwynn, Mike Pagliarulo and Joe Carter each drove in two runs at Philadelphia as the Padres won for the third consecutive time.
Rookie first baseman Jerald Clark had the first four-hit game of his career and the Padres had 13 against Bruce Ruffin (3-5) and three relievers.
The Padres put the game away in the fourth when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five runs.
Andy Benes (5-4), who spent most of last season in double A, improved to 4-0 against the Phillies, giving up seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Greg Harris earned his second save.
Carter hit his eighth homer for the Padres.
Ricky Jordan hit his third homer and Von Hayes his eighth for the Phillies, who have lost four consecutive games.
Houston 2, St. Louis 1--Glenn Wilson drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning at Houston as the Astros won for the sixth time in nine games.
Ken Caminiti, who doubled off Joe Magrane (2-8) with one out in the eighth, scored the go-ahead run after second baseman Jose Oquendo slapped down Wilson’s hit and made a late throw to the plate.
Reliever Juan Agosto (4-1) pitched one inning for the victory after replacing Mike Scott, who gave up seven hits and struck out three in seven innings.
Dave Smith worked the ninth for his 10th save.
The Cardinals, last in the National League East, lost for the fifth time in six games.