NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Padres Have a Sweep Spot for Slumping Pirates

The San Diego Padres put the Pittsburgh Pirates on the skids two weeks ago. The slide has turned into a major slump.

Craig Shipley climaxed a two-run rally in the ninth inning Wednesday at San Diego with a bases-loaded single to give the Padres an 8-7 victory and a sweep of a three-game series.

The Padres have beaten the Pirates six times since May 15 and have outscored them, 46-32, scoring at least six runs in each game. The Pirates had the best record in the National League when the Padres, playing about .500 ball, swept a three-game series at Pittsburgh.

The Pirates have lost five in a row, 11 of 12 and are happy to get out of California. They were 1-8 in the state on this trip.

To win this one, the Padres had to overcome a big game from Barry Bonds. Bonds' two-run home run, which gave him the league lead with 13, helped the Pirates build a 5-1 lead behind Randy Tomlin.

The Padres kept battling back to tie, but Pittsburgh took the lead in the ninth for the third time, 7-6, when Bonds doubled off Randy Myers and scored on an infield out.

But Stan Belinda gave up four hits in the bottom of the ninth and the Padres pulled out their sweep. Darrin Jackson, who hit a three-run home run in the 10th to win Tuesday night's game, doubled in the tying run. After an intentional walk to Kurt Stillwell, Shipley batted for Myers and delivered the one-out hit.

"You're not going to win much if you give up six, seven or eight runs a game," Pirate Manager Jim Leyland said. "You'll get your rear end beat all year.

"Our starting pitchers are forcing our bullpen to do too much. We're asking them to do things they're not capable of. We're extending our guys beyond the limit."

The Pirates trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 1 1/2 games in the NL East.

Tony Gwynn drove in three runs for the Padres and hit his fourth home run. Gwynn hit only four home runs each of the last three seasons.

San Francisco 6, Chicago 2--With Bill Swift's shoulder bothering him, John Burkett has taken over as the ace of the Giants' staff.

Burkett held the Cubs to six hits and a run in six innings at Chicago to win his fifth in a row. He is 4-0 against the Cubs.

"I really didn't have my good stuff today," Burkett said. "I wasn't hitting the corners as well as I did in previous games. But giving up just one run in 20 innings isn't bad at all."

Mike Felder and Willie McGee, the top two men in the order, drove in five of the Giant runs. Felder drove in three of them.

Montreal 8, Houston 5--Dennis Martinez brushed back the first three Astros at Montreal and had to duck a fastball in the fifth. But the veteran right-hander made it through five innings for the victory.

Moises Alou hit his first major league home run, a three-run blast in the first inning to climax a five-run rally that put Montreal in front to stay.

"After the first, their main target was me," said Martinez (5-4). "When he (Xavier Hernandez) almost hit me, he was aiming at my knee."

Astro Manager Art Howe wasn't surprised Hernandez threw inside.

"What is great about this league," he said, "is that the pitcher has to bat."

John Wetteland pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

Cincinnati 1, New York 0--Tim Belcher (4-5) outpitched Sid Fernandez (3-5) at New York, but by only a slight margin.

A double by Barry Larkin and a two-out single by Darnell Coles in the seventh inning accounted for the only run.

Belcher gave up three hits and struck out 10 in 8 1/3 innings, and Norm Charlton got the last two outs. Fernandez had given up only two hits in six innings before giving up the run.

Atlanta 9, Philadelphia 3--Tom Glavine became the league's first seven-game winner and Lonnie Smith ended a slump with two RBIs at Philadelphia.

Smith, who was hitting .091 and hadn't started a game since April 22, doubled in one run and hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score in the seventh.

Glavine gave up six hits and three runs, two earned, in seven innings. His single started the Braves' three-run rally in the seventh. It was only the Braves' fourth victory in the last 11 games.

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