NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Ashby Handles the Rest of the Giants

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From Associated Press

The idea was to not let the other eight Giants beat Andy Ashby. There wasn’t much the San Diego Padres could do about Barry Bonds.

He homered, his 14th of the season and fifth in 16 at-bats against Ashby, but the San Diego pitcher contained the other Giants in a 3-1 victory at San Francisco on Saturday.

“What can I say about Bonds?” said Ashby (2-5, with a 2.94 earned-run average). “I got a ball up where I didn’t want it. I made a mistake and he crushed it. But I’m getting the ball down for the most part and it’s starting to pay off.”


It was the first homer since May 25 for Bonds, whose last had been off Ashby in San Diego.

After the homer, the only threat off Ashby came in the fifth inning, when Royce Clayton and Kirt Manwaring singled with one out. Mark Portugal (5-5) grounded into a double play and Ashby retired the side over the last four innings.

“You have to tip your hat to Ashby and give him his due,” said Tony Gwynn, who went four for five in his 32nd four-hit game. “He pitched well enough to make our small lead stand up.”

Gwynn raised his league-leading average to .388. He is batting .415 over the last 15 games.

Houston 7, Atlanta 6--Center fielder Roberto Kelly’s error on James Mouton’s single in the ninth inning allowed Luis Gonzalez to score from first base as the Astros rallied for three runs with two outs to win at Houston.

The Astros had been limited to three hits--two of them Jeff Bagwell homers--over the first 8 2/3 innings by Steve Avery and three relievers before rallying.

With two outs, pinch-hitter Sid Bream singled off Greg McMichael (2-4) and Andujar Cedeno walked. Gonzalez’s infield single loaded the bases.


Mouton then grounded a single to center that Kelly overran. The ball rolled all the way to the wall as Gonzalez raced home with the winning run.

Cincinnati 6, Colorado 4--The Reds won for the sixth time in seven games and the Rockies fell to 0-10 at Cincinnati.

Down, 4-1, in the fifth inning, the Reds turned Charlie Hayes’ throwing error and a two-run homer by Reggie Sanders into their 19th come-from-behind victory of the season.

Tim Fortugno (1-0) got his second major league victory with 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Kevin Jarvis. Chuck McElroy pitched the last two innings for his third save.

Montreal 7, New York 4--Kirk Rueter, who left the Expos for 21 days during the illness and eventual death of his mother, pitched into the fifth inning, tiring with a 4-3 lead and not getting the decision at New York.

Rueter, who has a major league record of 10-1, gave up three runs and four hits.

Marquis Grissom and Sean Berry homered as the Expos won their third in a row and ninth in their last 12 games. The Mets have lost five in a row and 10 of 12.


Reliever Gil Heredia (3-2) was the winner, Jeff Shaw went 2 2/3 innings and John Wetteland got the last out for his 11th save.

St. Louis 7, Philadelphia 4--Gregg Jefferies hit a three-run homer and Ray Lankford added a two-run shot for the Cardinals at Philadelphia.

Omar Olivares (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, pitched 6 2/3 innings and added two singles and a run batted in. He gave up four runs and seven hits. Rene Arocha pitched the final two innings for his fourth save.

Pittsburgh 10, Florida 4--Brian Hunter and Jay Bell homered and the Pirates dodged a thunderstorm and a three-run deficit to win at Pittsburgh.

The Marlins couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead for the second consecutive night as Hunter keyed a three-run third inning with a two-run homer and Bell went four for four and scored four runs in the Pirates’ fourth consecutive victory.

Bell is seven for his last eight, with four extra-base hits, and Pittsburgh--the majors’ worst offensive team--has 15 runs and 28 hits in its last two games.


Much of the damage came off Marlin rookie Kurt Miller (0-1), a former Pirate first-round draft choice, who gave up nine hits and seven runs in four-plus innings in his major league debut.