NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Cubs’ Bullpen Fails in 9th Loss in a Row
When it appeared that the Chicago Cubs were about to end their eight-game losing streak, their bullpen did them in Sunday at San Francisco.
The Cubs lost their ninth in a row as reliever Dave Smith gave up two ninth-inning runs, including pinch-hitter Mike Felder’s squeeze bunt that gave the San Francisco Giants a 2-1 victory.
“Today, the bullpen screwed up,” Smith said. “It’s either that or the starting pitching breaks down or we’re not hitting. It seems like one facet breaks down every game. We have just got to put it together as a team.”
Chicago’s losing streak is the longest in the majors this season and the team’s longest since a club-record 13-game slide from June 12-25, 1985.
Willie McGee opened the ninth with a single against Smith (0-4) and scored when Will Clark tripled down the right-field line, a ball that eluded Ced Landrum after bouncing off the Giants’ bullpen cage.
Matt Williams and Mark Leonard were walked intentionally to load the bases and Robby Thompson hit a slow roller to shortstop Shawon Dunston, who forced Clark at home plate.
Felder, batting for pitcher Jeff Brantley, bunted a 1-and-0 pitch to the right side, but Smith was unable to throw the ball home before Williams slid in safely for the Giants’ fourth consecutive victory.
Brantley (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the victory for the Giants.
San Diego 3, St. Louis 2--Ozzie Smith’s first error since Sept. 20 helped the winning run to score at St. Louis.
With the score 2-2, Bip Roberts opened the eighth with a grounder to shortstop. Smith threw wide of first base for his first error in 69 games.
Roberts took second when Juan Agosto (5-2) walked Tony Fernandez, advanced to third on Tony Gwynn’s grounder and scored when Jerald Clark beat out a grounder and avoided what would have been an inning-ending double play.
Bruce Hurst (8-4) gave up two runs and seven hits in his third complete game, beating the Cardinals for the second time in 12 days.
Cincinnati 8, Montreal 4--Bill Doran’s pinch-hit triple with the bases loaded highlighted a five-run seventh inning that helped the Reds come from behind to beat the Expos at Cincinnati.
With the score 3-3, Bill Sampen (5-2) hit Chris Sabo on the wrist with a pitch, forcing home the go-ahead run. Doran followed with a triple over the head of right-fielder Dave Martinez.
Hal Morris hit an RBI double against Jeff Fassero, giving the Reds their second five-run inning of the season.
Five pitchers combined on a five-hitter but walked 10. Randy Myers (4-5) pitched out of a bases-loaded threat in the sixth.
Atlanta 4, New York 3--Ron Gant hit a two-run homer against Wally Whitehurst in the sixth and drove in two runs with a double against Jeff Innis in the eighth at Atlanta as the Braves beat the Mets for only their third victory in 10 games.
With the Mets leading, 3-2, Terry Pendleton opened the eighth with a single against Whitehurst (3-4) and took second when third baseman Howard Johnson booted Jeff Treadway’s grounder for an error. Innis relieved and Gant doubled into the left-field corner.
Kent Mercker (3-3) pitched one scoreless inning for the victory and Juan Berenguer got three outs for his 10th save.
Houston 6, Philadelphia 4--Darryl Kile gave up four hits in seven innings at Philadelphia and got his first major league victory as the Astros beat the Phillies.
Kile (1-2) was making the fifth start of his career, and his primary problem was Darren Daulton. He gave up two home runs to Daulton, the second multihomer game of Daulton’s career.
Houston Manager Art Howe took out Kile in the eighth. Ken Oberkfell, who batted for the pitcher, hit a two-run double for a 6-2 lead.
Daulton, batting .156 coming into the game, added an RBI single in the eighth and increased his average to .183.
Jim Clancy pitched 1 2/3 innings for his third save. Jose DeJesus (4-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out five and walked three.