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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Jose Stays Hot for Cardinals as Cubs Lose Again

When Dave Henderson was injured late last season, the Oakland Athletics were so desperate that they gave up a promising young outfielder, Felix Jose.

The Athletics sent Jose to the St. Louis Cardinals for center fielder Willie McGee. After helping the Athletics win the pennant, McGee departed, a free agent.

But the Cardinals, picked by most observers to finish last in the NL East, are an early season surprise and Jose is the chief reason.

Jose had a two-run triple, a double and a single Tuesday night at St. Louis to lead the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. It was the Cubs’ fifth loss in a row and the Cardinals’ third victory in a row.

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Jose raised his average to .352 and, with 13, leads the Cardinals (9-6) in runs batted in. He scored two runs and stole a base, figuring in all of the Cardinal runs.

The 25-year-old right-fielder has made a believer of Manager Joe Torre.

“He’s some kind of strong,” Torre said. “His home run last night to win the game was something.”

Jose’s effort helped Bob Tewksbury improve to 2-1. Jose spoiled Rick Sutcliffe’s second game since coming back from an injury.

San Diego 7, San Francisco 6--Fred McGriff’s homer capped a four-run first inning and Eric Nolte won his third consecutive start as the Padres won at San Francisco to remain unbeaten in five road games.

Kevin Mitchell hit his major league-leading seventh home run and Will Clark homered and drove in four runs for the Giants.

New York 2, Philadelphia 1--Jim Fregosi got a taste of what his predecessor as manager of the Phillies, Nick Leyva, went through.

Ron Darling pitched six scoreless innings and his double was the Mets’ only hit until the ninth, but the Phillies still trailed, 2-0, after six innings.

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The wildness of Jason Grimsley (0-3) beat the Phillies. He walked six, hit a batter and uncorked his eighth wild pitch of the season.

Cincinnati 3, Houston 1--Rob Dibble struck out six in a row to tie a league record at Houston.

Herm Winningham tripled home the tie-breaking run in the eighth and the Reds moved above .500 (7-6).

Pittsburgh 7, Montreal 3--Andy Van Slyke and Barry Bonds hit two-run home runs at Montreal to lead the Pirates to their fourth victory in a row.

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John Smiley (3-0) gave up nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.


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