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NL WEST RACE : Gant Hits First Grand Slam as Braves Increase Lead to 2 1/2

From Associated Press

Ron Gant hit the first regular-season grand slam of his career and Tom Glavine earned his 19th victory as the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds, 10-3, Tuesday night at Atlanta.

The Braves, returning from a 5-2 trip that boosted them into first place in the National League West, increased their lead to 2 1/2 games over the San Francisco Giants, who lost to the Chicago Cubs, 8-1, at San Francisco.

“It seems like we’ve been waiting three months for the Giants to go into a skid and now that they have, all the pressure’s on them,” Gant said.

“San Francisco still has a chance,” Gant continued. “But it sure feels nice to reverse the role and be up a couple of games. But our job is simple, we’ve got to keep winning. That doesn’t change. If I had one word for the Giants, it’s lose .”

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The Braves, who played at home as a first-place team for the first time since April 13, won for the 10th time in 12 games. The Reds have lost four in a row and nine of 12.

Gant connected in the second inning against Bobby Ayala (6-8) to give Atlanta a 6-0 lead. The homer was a career-high 34th for Gant, who has 13 runs batted in during his last five games.

Gant’s only other grand slam came in the second game of the 1992 playoffs against Pittsburgh.

Glavine (19-5), one victory shy of the 20-win mark for the third consecutive season, won for the ninth time in 10 decisions. The Braves are 24-8 in Glavine’s starts this season.

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Chicago 8, San Francisco 1--The faltering Giants lost their seventh game in a row as Jose Bautista pitched a five-hitter and the Cubs piled up 13 hits against six pitchers.

The Giants, who have lost 11 of their last 14 at Candlestick Park, had occupied first place since May 11 before falling behind the surging Braves last Saturday.


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