For some time now the New York Mets have believed they will play the Cincinnati Reds in the National League championship series.
The Reds have dominated the West since the season began. The Mets, after playing poorly for two months, are playing the way they said they could.
Their goal this weekend in New York is to establish themselves as serious World Series contenders.
Darryl Strawberry continued his hitting spree Friday night and the Mets defeated the Reds, 4-2, for their second victory in a row over the leaders of the West and their 11th in a row overall.
The Mets moved ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates into first place in the East. The Pirates lost to the San Francisco Giants.
Strawberry hit his 17th home run and Mackey Sasser hit a two-run home run as the Mets tied their record for consecutive victories. In 1969 and 1986, both world championship seasons, the Mets also won 11 in a row.
Strawberry has hit safely in 18 consecutive games. During that stretch he is 28 for 67 (.418) with nine home runs and 24 runs batted in.
Bob Ojeda (4-3) gave up 10 hits, but only two runs in 8 1/3 innings.
San Francisco 7, Pittsburgh 3--Will Clark had three hits, including a home run, at San Francisco and the Giants knocked the Pirates out of first place in the East.
Trevor Wilson (4-0) pitched seven innings to gain his fourth consecutive victory. Jeff Brantley pitched the last 1 1/3 innings, getting out of a jam in the eighth with the bases loaded.
Philadelphia 2, Houston 0--Pat Combs pitched a six-hitter and Len Dykstra homered as the road woes of the Astros continued. They are 0-13 away from home in June.
The Phillies played the first of three games without shortstop Dickie Thon, who drew a suspension for bumping umpire Terry Tata twice during an argument Tuesday night.
Chicago 3, San Diego 2--Doug Dascenzo tripled home the tying run in the ninth inning at San Diego, then scored the winning run on a single by Dwight Smith.
Ryne Sandberg, who had a single in the ninth, had two hits to give him 1,500 in his career.
Jack Clark hit a home run for the Padres.
The Cubs used three pitchers to save it, each getting one out in the ninth.
Atlanta 4, Montreal 2--Rookie Dave Justice drove in two runs with a home run and a single at Montreal as the Braves handed the Expos their third loss in a row.
Tom Glavine (4-5) gave up five hits in eight innings to beat Dennis Martinez (5-6). Glavine gave up solo home runs to Tim Wallach and Larry Walker.