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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Pirates’ Tomlin Brings Mets Down to Earth

After getting season highs in runs (15) and hits (18) Saturday night, the Mets were feeling pretty good.

The good feeling lasted only until they saw who they had to face Sunday at Pittsburgh--left-hander Randy Tomlin.

The Mets have tried everything, including an all right-handed batting order, to no avail against Tomlin.

Tomlin gave up six hits and the Pirates beat the Mets, 3-0, taking advantage of third baseman Dave Magadan’s error to score all their runs during the sixth inning.

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Tomlin, who pitched seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers last Tuesday, improved to 7-3. Only Tom Glavine with nine has more victories in the National League. Tomlin, a sinkerball pitcher, is 6-0 against the Mets with a 1.67 earned-run average.

“There’s no explanation for it,” said Tomlin, who is 13-14 lifetime against the rest of the league. “I just try to keep the ball down, keep the leadoff man off base and try to keep their big guys in the ballpark.”

The middle three in the Mets’ lineup, Howard Johnson, Eddie Murray and Bobby Bonilla, were seven for 11 Saturday night with seven RBIs during the 15-1 victory over the Pirates. They were four for 16 against Tomlin.

Pete Schourek (0-2) matched Tomlin for five innings. But Jay Bell led off the Pirates’ sixth with a double and scored on Lloyd McClendon’s single to break the scoreless tie. After Barry Bonds walked, Wally Whitehurst relieved and walked Steve Buechele to fill the bases. Don Slaught bounced a grounder off Magadan’s glove and two more runs scored on the error.

Atlanta 9, San Diego 4--The Braves are beginning to resemble the team that won the pennant last season.

Even David Justice has started to contribute. He hit a two-run homer and a two-run triple to help the Braves complete a three-game sweep at San Diego.

For the first time this season, Justice’s batting average is above .200.

Despite injuries and a slow start, the Braves have reached .500 (28-28) and are only 3 1/2 games back in the West.

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Sid Bream drove in three runs with a double and a triple and John Smoltz (6-5) won for the third time in his last four starts.

San Francisco 3, Houston 0--Trevor Wilson, in Manager Roger Craig’s doghouse because of five balks this season, found the solution at San Francisco.

Wilson (5-5) pitched a two-hitter and permitted only six baserunners. He committed no balks.

Cory Snyder continued his hot hitting for the Giants, driving in the only run Wilson needed with a single during the first inning.

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Light-hitting catcher Kirt Manwaring hit the second home run of his career and his first in 540 at-bats during the seventh inning.

The Giants beat Mark Portugal, who was 9-1 against them. Portugal went seven innings, giving up seven hits and three runs.

St. Louis 5, Philadelphia 4--Ozzie Smith singled with two out and the bases loaded during the ninth inning at Philadelphia to drive in two runs and end the Cardinals’ five-game losing streak.

Although he gave up a run and two hits in the ninth, Lee Smith picked up his 15th save, tops in the league.

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Hot-hitting Darren Daulton hit a two-run home run for the Phillies, but with two on and two out in the ninth, he flied to right to end the game.

Montreal 3, Chicago 2--John Vander Wall, who was 1 for 12 as a pinch-hitter, got another chance at Montreal. Vander Wall singled with the bases loaded and none out during the ninth inning to give the Expos the victory.

Although he didn’t get the victory, Dennis Martinez pitched another strong game for the Expos. He gave up five hits and a run in seven innings and left with a 2-1 lead. But John Wetteland gave up the tying run in the eighth and cost Martinez his seventh victory.

Jeff Fassero faced only one batter in the top of the ninth, but got the victory.

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