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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Bullinger Makes Pitch for Starter’s Role

A near no-hitter may have earned Jim Bullinger a spot in the Chicago Cubs’ starting rotation.

The converted shortstop, in only his third start, pitched a one-hitter Sunday at Chicago to lead the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Bullinger, a 27-year-old right-hander, was bidding for the first no-hitter by a Cub in 20 years until Kirt Manwaring opened the eighth inning with his third home run.

A triple by Andre Dawson and Mark Grace’s ninth home run were the big hits for the Cubs, who handed the Giants their sixth consecutive defeat.

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Bullinger began his minor league career in the Cub organization in 1986. He was a good defensive shortstop who couldn’t hit enough to make it to the majors. In 1990, he switched to pitching. Although he was only 9-9 last season at Charlotte in the double-A Southern League, he was impressive in spring training.

“I knew when I warmed up I had good stuff,” Bullinger said. “But I didn’t expect this.”

Milt Pappas was the last Cub to pitch a no-hitter in 1972. That same season Burt Hooton, also of the Cubs, was the last rookie to pitch a no-hitter in the National League.

Philadelphia 10, Atlanta 2--The Braves won the pennant last year, even though their best pitcher, Tom Glavine, went into a late season slump. He’s slumping again.

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Glavine, in his second bid to become the majors’ first 20-game winner, gave up five runs, four hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings at Philadelphia. It was his shortest outing since June, 1989.

In his last two starts, Glavine (19-5) has pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up 11 hits, seven walks and eight earned runs.

Ben Rivera (4-3), acquired from the Braves on May 28, pitched a five-hitter.

Todd Pratt drove in four runs for the Phillies, who had been beaten nine times in a row by Glavine.

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New York 4, Cincinnati 3--Bobby Bonilla hit a three-run home run with two out in the ninth inning at New York for the Mets’ seventh victory in a row and a sweep of a four-game series with the Reds.

Tim Belcher had retired 23 batters in a row, and Rod Dibble came in to protect the two-run lead. Dibble struck out two, but walked two before Bonilla unloaded. As Bonilla crossed the plate, Dibble ripped off his uniform shirt.

The Reds remained five games behind Atlanta.

Montreal 4, Houston 0--When the Expos traded Andres Galarraga to the Cardinals for Ken Hill, they made one of the best deals of the off-season.

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While Galarraga is in a slump for the second consecutive season, Hill is a key reason the Expos are in the race in the East.

Hill (14-7) pitched a four-hitter at Houston, stopping the Astros’ four-game winning streak and keeping the Expos only 3 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh.

Darryl Kile (2-9) lost his eighth in a row and lost his temper, too. He gave up four runs and five hits in three innings. One of the runs scored while Kile had the ball in his hand and was arguing with an umpire.

Pittsburgh 6, San Diego 3--Barry Bonds hit his second home run in a month, a two-run shot at San Diego, and Bob Walk limited the Padres to four hits and a run in eight innings.

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Gary Sheffield hit his 29th home run, and teammate Fred McGriff hit his 31st.


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