In May, the St. Louis Cardinals decided that veteran right-hander Bob Tewksbury was not the answer to their bullpen problems, so they sold him to their Louisville farm club.
Five weeks later, their starting staff all but wiped out because of injury, they bought him back and made him a starter.
As a member of the rotation, Tewksbury has exceeded expectation.
Wednesday night at Cincinnati, Tewksbury pitched a six-hitter and played a prominent part on offense as the Cardinals routed the Reds, 9-1.
With his third complete-game victory in his last four starts, Tewksbury (9-4) ended the Reds’ five-game winning streak.
Tewksbury doubled in a run in the four-run eighth that drove Tom Browning (12-7) off the mound. Earlier, Tewksbury put down two sacrifice bunts that set up runs.
Browning was making his first start since being sidelined Aug. 17 with a sprained ankle. He gave up 10 hits and all seven runs.
This was Tewksbury’s 14th start, and he has pitched well in all but one. He gave up 11 hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Mets July 26. In his other three defeats, he gave up total of four earned runs in 20 innings.
In August, he had two shutouts, one a one-hitter, and is 4-1. In 45 innings this month, he has walked only two. He lost this shutout when Chris Sabo hit his 23rd home run in the eighth inning.
Tewksbury impressed a former manager, Lou Piniella of the Reds.
“He pitched for me in my first year (1986) with the Yankees,” Piniella said. “Tonight he had the best velocity I’ve ever seen him have. He was getting in on our hitters’ hands and didn’t walk anybody. He was outstanding.”
With Pedro Guerrero out because of an injury, Cardinal Manager Joe Torre used his two top catchers at the same time. Both Todd Zeile, playing first base, and Tom Pagnozzi had two hits and scored four runs between them.
Pagnozzi, who scored three runs, also praised Tewksbury.
“He’s never had a true chance to pitch,"he said. “Now that he’s really getting a chance, look what he’s doing.”
Houston 1, Chicago 0--It mattered not that he lost, what mattered was that Rick Sutcliffe can pitch again.
Sutcliffe, in his first start this season after shoulder surgery, gave up a run and two hits in five innings at Houston.
The only run scored while the Cubs were making a double play in the second inning.
“I knew that my shoulder felt fine,” Sutcliffe said, “but I didn’t know how I’d pitch. I’m very happy.”
Mark Portugal (8-9) worked in and out of trouble in almost every inning, but he went seven innings, giving up eight hits and won his fourth in a row.
Pittsburgh 10, Atlanta 0--Rain was more of a problem than the Braves’ hitters at Atlanta, but with Barry Bonds driving in five runs, Doug Drabek became the league’s first 17-game winner.
After two rain delays, the game was called with two out in the top of the seventh.
Drabek (17-5) gave up just two hits in six innings to end the Pirates’ four-game losing streak.
Bonds, who has 97 runs batted in, singled in a run in the fourth, singled in two more in the sixth and doubled home the last two in the 10th.
New York 2, San Diego 1--The Mets waited for almost two hours until the rain subsided at New York, then waited until the last inning to win it and stay two games out of first in the East.
Darryl Boston singled up the middle with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the winning run.
Howard Johnson, who hit a bloop single to start the winning rally, also scored the first run in the seventh after an infield hit.
It was the 16th time this season the Mets have pulled out a victory in the last at-bat.
Bob Ojeda pitched two scoreless innings in relief after Dwight Gooden gave up three hits in seven innings, but left trailing, 1-0.
San Francisco 6, Montreal 5--Giants Manager Roger Craig was moaning about how poorly his team always played in Olympic Stadium after the loss Tuesday night.
But after Wednesday’s game, he said really enjoyed the way the ball carried, especially in the ninth inning.
Kevin Mitchell, who earlier hit a two-run home run to pull the Giants even, opened the ninth off Bill Sampen with his 30th home run to tie the game. Two outs later, Robbie Robinson hit his 13th home run to end the Giants’ two-game losing streak. With the Reds losing, the Giants are 7 1/2 games out of first in the West.