Terry Pendleton picked an appropriate time to come out of his first slump of the season.
Pendleton, a candidate for most valuable player, hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning at San Diego on Friday night to give the Atlanta Braves a 3-2 victory over the Padres. The Braves remained 1 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.
Pendleton, leading the league with a .342 average a couple of weeks ago, had gone 10 at-bats without a hit, but he tagged Ricky Bones for his 16th home run.
Rookie Brian Hunter hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the other run.
Rookie Armando Reynoso, in his second start, won his second game. He gave up home runs to Fred McGriff and former Angel Jack Howell. Howell's home run, an inside-the-park homer, was his first as a Padre. Reynoso went seven innings, giving up six hits.
Mike Stanton pitched the last two innings to get the save. In the ninth, he struck out McGriff, who has hit five home runs in six games, two of them grand slams.
Pittsburgh 8, New York 2--Maybe it was because they figured they wouldn't get many runs against Randy Tomlin, but the Mets looked like a team that has given up.
There are 47 games left to their season, but the Mets, who lost their eighth in a row, appear to be going through the motions.
They made five errors at Pittsburgh and enabled the Pirates to score five unearned runs. The Mets made life miserable for Sid Fernandez, winless since coming back from injury.
Bobby Bonilla was three for three and scored twice to give Tomlin (8-4) all the offense he needed.
Tomlin improved his record to 5-0 against the Mets, 4-0 this season. In each of the four starts this season the left-hander has permitted only one run. In this one he went seven innings, giving up six hits.
Fernandez was chased in the fifth before he retired a batter. He gave up six hits, but four of the five runs he yielded were unearned. In the second inning, third baseman Gregg Jefferies and center fielder Mark Carreon made errors on consecutive plays to give the Pirates two runs.
The Mets, who have lost 20 of 24 games, are 11 1/2 games behind the Pirates, who lead the East by six games over the St. Louis Cardinals.
There have been rumors that Met Manager Bud Harrelson is on his way out. There was a state-of-the-franchise meeting before the game.
"This latest skid is the lowest point since opening day, 1984, " executive vice president Al Harazin said.
Bonilla has had more than one hit in five consecutive games.
Cincinnati 5, San Francisco 0--The Reds haven't completely collapsed in the West.
They dealt a blow to the Giants' pennant hopes in this game at San Francisco.
Kip Gross gave up five hits in 8 1/3 innings and when Joe Oliver hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, the rookie had all the support he needed.
Oliver's home run was the second he has hit this season against Bud Black (9-11).
St. Louis 4, Montreal 2--Bob Tewksbury ended a mild slump at Montreal to pitch the Cardinals to their fourth victory in a row.
Tewksbury (8-8) had been hit hard in his previous three games, but he was superb against the Expos. He had a three-hit shutout going into the ninth, but tired and gave up two runs.
Lee Smith got the last two outs after giving up a hit to get his 32nd save.
"I really didn't want to use him (Smith) again," Cardinal Manager Joe Torre said. "He's pitched three nights in a row. But he said before the game he was ready, so when Bob tired I sent him in there."
Ozzie Smith led the Cardinal offense. He went three for four, drove in two runs and scored another. With six hits in his last eight at-bats, Smith has moved over .300 again.
Chicago 9, Philadelphia 1--A couple of weeks ago, veteran right-hander Rick Sutcliffe was one start from retirement. He was frustrated because during his rehabilitation from two years of shoulder problems, he couldn't even win in the minors.
Now, he can hardly wait five days for his next start.
In his finest performance in two years, Sutcliffe (3-4) gave up five hits and struck out nine in eight innings at Chicago.
Last Sunday he showed a return to form when he gave up seven hits and one earned run in seven innings against the Mets.
"It was just two weeks ago that I was retired," Sutcliffe said. "But five days from now I'll be out there again."