NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Clark Vows to Continue Giants’ Winning Streak
At the All-Star break, the San Francisco Giants were a team in disarray. They were 11 games below .500 and 14 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West. They had no thoughts of winning the division title.
They are in fourth place and still below .500, but suddenly they have hope.
Will Clark and Matt Williams each hit two home runs Tuesday at San Francisco, and the sizzling Giants routed the Montreal Expos, 10-3, for their 10th victory in a row.
The streak is the Giants’ longest in a decade. The last time was Aug. 3-11, 1982.
Ivan Calderon hit two home runs for the Expos, but he didn’t have much help. San Francisco’s Trevor Wilson (7-9) gave up only five hits and struck out eight in seven innings.
“This streak ain’t over yet, pal,” Clark told the Associated Press. “This is a good club, no matter how we started.”
The hottest Giant is Williams. The third baseman, who struggled early, is 31 for 91 (.341) in July and has 10 home runs and 20 runs batted in.
“I just feel I’ve got a better approach now,” Williams said. “I’m waiting for a good pitch. I realize the deeper you get into the count, the better chance you have to get a good pitch to hit.”
The Giants jumped on Ron Darling, winless in three starts for the Expos. He gave up the four San Francisco home runs and nine hits and seven runs in five innings.
“I’m really disappointed that I’m not doing well here, and it’s nobody’s fault but my own,” Darling said. “I pitched backwards today, getting behind on the count with curves and coming in with fastballs.”
Clark and Williams each drove in three runs. Clark has 74 to lead the league.
Atlanta 10, Pittsburgh 3--In a rain-delayed game at Atlanta, the Braves spotted the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
But their hot hitter, Terry Pendleton, brought them storming back to hand Pittsburgh its fourth consecutive defeat.
Pendleton went three for four, scored two runs and drove in another. Two of his hits were doubles, and he raised his league-leading average to .341.
Cincinnati 6, Chicago 5--Rob Dibble gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning at Cincinnati, but wound up the winner.
Paul O’Neill tagged Chuck McElroy--who had won five in a row--for his 17th home run to lead off the bottom of the 10th. One out later, Bill Doran hit his fifth to give the Reds only their fourth victory in the last 19 games.
Philadelphia 2, San Diego 1--Jose DeJesus had problems with his control, but he pitched a strong eight innings at Philadelphia and the Phillies ended a seven-game losing streak.
DeJesus (7-4) walked seven and gave up seven hits, but, for the fourth game in a row, did not give up more than one earned run.
Dennis Rasmussen (3-8) took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning, when the Phillies scored twice. John Kruk doubled in the go-ahead run.
Houston 7, St. Louis 5--The Cardinals, who had hit fewer home runs than any other team in the majors, hit three at Houston but lost.
Felix Jose hit the third one, a two-run smash to tie the score in the top of the eighth inning.
But in the bottom of the inning, Mark Davidson hit a two-run home run, the fifth homer of the game, and the Astros won their third game in a row.
Gerald Perry and Mark Lankford also hit home runs for the Cardinals, who have 39 in 99 games.