NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Smith Takes Control, Pirates Beat Cardinals

Zane Smith is typical of the team he pitches for--the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Both have everything under control.

Smith, a left-hander, pitched a six-hitter and beat the Cardinals, 3-1, Wednesday night at St. Louis. The loss practically ended the Cardinals’ hopes of catching the Pirates in the National League East.

The Cardinals, shut out until the ninth inning, fell 10 1/2 games behind the Pirates. St. Louis has 23 games remaining.


Smith improved his record to 14-10 and, for the sixth time in his last nine starts, did not walk a batter. He has walked only four in the last 65 innings.

In his last outing, he pitched a three-hitter against the Dodgers. But his best performance this season was against the Cardinals on May 29, also in St. Louis. He pitched six perfect innings and settled for a one-hitter.

“Zane is good for a manager to watch,” Pirate Manager Jim Leyland said. “He gets a lot of quick outs and the games are never long. You’re not holding your breath with him out there.”

Smith singled in one of the runs off Bob Tewksbury (9-11), and Orlando Merced drove in the other two.


One of the reasons for the Pirates’ runaway is their play on the road. While handing the Cardinals their seventh loss in the last eight games, the Pirates improved their road record to 42-29, best in the majors.

New York 4, Chicago 1--For one of the few times in recent years, the Mets are in a position to make use of young players in the last month of the season. Usually, they are still in the race.

Three of the newcomers performed well at Chicago.

Tony Castillo, obtained from Atlanta in trade for reliever Alejandro Pena, held the Cubs to three hits in six scoreless innings.


Rookies Todd Hundley and Terry McDaniel, both rookies, drove in runs in a three-run seventh inning that brought Castillo his second victory.

San Francisco 4, Cincinnati 2--Tommy Herr hit a triple with the bases loaded in the seventh inning at Cincinnati for the key hit as the Giants dropped the defending champion Reds 12 games behind Atlanta.

The first triple of the season by Herr helped rookie Bryan Hickerson improve his record to 2-1. He gave up five hits in six innings, including a home run to Mariano Duncan.

Montreal 6, Philadelphia 5--Pinch-hitter Ivan Calderon hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning at Philadelphia and the Expos ended a 10-game losing streak.


Calderon hit his 19th home run and 100th of his career after an error by shortstop Dickie Thon. The homer broke a 3-3 tie.