NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Fall Rerun: Pirates Beat Mets, Close In on Title

From Associated Press

Another season is coming to an end, but it's the same old scenario.

Randy Tomlin is dominating the New York Mets, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are dominating the National League East.

The Pirates can win their third consecutive division title today after Friday night's 3-2 victory over the Mets at Pittsburgh.

The victory gave Tomlin an 8-0 lifetime record against the Mets.

Pittsburgh, which has won nine of 12, remained seven games ahead of the second-place Montreal Expos, who beat Chicago, 4-3, in 10 innings.

The Pirates can win the NL East with a victory over the Mets today if the Expos lose to the Cubs.

Tomlin (14-8) beat the Mets for the third time this season, giving up one run and six hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking none.

The left-hander, who has nearly one-third of his 26 career victories against the Mets, lowered his lifetime earned-run average against the Mets to 1.91.

The Mets, 2-11 against the Pirates this season, got leadoff doubles in the first and fourth innings and a one-out double in the second, but couldn't score. One reason was the Pirate defense.

The Mets had a chance to tie it in the sixth inning, but center fielder Andy Van Slyke cut in front of left fielder Barry Bonds to make a sliding, backhanded catch of Todd Hundley's sinking drive with runners on second and third.

Montreal 4, Chicago 3--Larry Walker homered with one out in the 10th inning to end an 0-for-15 slump and give the Expos a victory over the Cubs at Montreal.

Walker hit a 1-and-1 pitch from reliever Heathcliffe Slocumb (0-3) to right field for his 23rd homer. John Wetteland (4-4) pitched a perfect 10th for the victory.

Chicago starter Greg Maddux missed a chance to become the first Cub pitcher to win 20 games since Rick Reuschel in 1977. Maddux, who remained 19-11, gave up eight hits, struck out three and walked none in 6 1/3 innings.

San Diego 1, Atlanta 0--Greg Harris, slowed by two stays on the disabled list this season, pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings for his first victory since May 31 as the Padres beat the Braves at San Diego.

Harris (3-8) gave up five hits with a season-high eight strikeouts and two walks. The Braves have lost seven of their last 11.

Randy Myers got the final four outs for his 37th save.

Jerald Clark homered on the first pitch from starter Steve Avery (11-11) in the second inning to produce the only run.

Cincinnati 4, San Francisco 2--Tim Belcher (14-14) gave up five hits in eight innings at San Francisco as the Reds increased their winning streak to nine games.

The Reds moved to within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Braves in the NL West. The Reds have eight games remaining and Atlanta has nine left.

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