NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Baker's Gamble Pays Big in Giants Victory

From Associated Press

San Francisco Giant Manager Dusty Baker loves to play hunches, but his decision Sunday to have Jeff Reed, a .132 hitter, pinch-hit with two outs and a runner on second base seemed like a stretch.

Reed made his manager look good, though, poking a single between first and second base that scored the winning run in the 10th inning at San Francisco.

The 2-1 victory completed a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Although Reed had only three hits in 16 previous pinch-hitting opportunities, Baker glanced at his statistic sheets and saw the backup catcher had gotten hits off Phillie reliever Doug Jones (2-3).

"Jeff was due to come through for us," Baker said.

Jones, who leads the National League with 21 saves, was pitching for the first time in nine days.

"I've done pretty well against him," Reed said. "I've seen him more than a lot of the guys. He throws a lot of changeups and off-speed stuff."

Reed's hit drove in Dave Martinez, who led off with a single and moved to second on Royce Clayton's sacrifice. Dave Burba (1-5) got the victory.

San Francisco's comeback spoiled a superb outing by Philadelphia starter Bobby Munoz, who took a three-hit shutout into the ninth. But Darren Lewis led off the inning with his fourth homer to send the game into extra innings.

The Giants' Darryl Strawberry went hitless and struck out twice.

Pittsburgh 7, Cincinnati 6--Down by six runs at Cincinnati, it looked like the Pirates were starting their All-Star break early, but Brian Hunter changed all that.

Hunter, who flied out and struck out in his first two at-bats against Pete Schourek, hit the second grand slam of his career in the sixth inning, and the Pirates won it in the 11th.

Tom Foley's one-out double in the 11th scored pinch-runner Al Martin as the Pirates snapped a four-game losing streak with their first victory at Riverfront Stadium since July 2, 1993.

Kevin Mitchell left the game in the sixth inning after banging into the outfield wall in an attempt to catch Hunter's homer. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays to his left rib cage. The Reds said the results were negative and Mitchell will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.

Montreal 8, San Diego 2--Wil Cordero, named to the All-Star team earlier in the day, hit his first grand slam and Moises Alou hit two homers for the Expos at San Diego.

Cordero, named to replace Cincinnati's Barry Larkin on the National League team, hit his 13th homer off rookie Joey Hamilton (5-4) in the second to snap a 2-2 tie.

Jeff Fassero (7-5) shut down the Padres after giving up two runs in the first inning. He gave up six hits and struck out eight in six innings.

Mel Rojas pitched the final three innings for his 15th save.

The Padres have lost nine in a row to the Expos and 19 of 21 over the past two years.

The Padres' Bip Roberts missed the game to be with his father-in-law, who suffered a stroke.

St. Louis 6, Atlanta 1--Mark Whiten hit a three-run homer at Atlanta in support of Allen Watson, and the Cardinals reached the All-Star break at .500 (42-42).

The Braves (52-33) have lost nine of 15 games.

Watson (6-4) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. The left-hander walked one and struck out four.

Watson, 23, in his second season, has made 32 starts, 17 this season. He has yet to complete a game.

Houston 5, Chicago 3--Rookie Orlando Miller, playing in his third major-league game, hit two home runs completely out of Wrigley Field to lead the Astros.

Jeff Bagwell drove in his National League-leading 82nd run, and Pete Harnisch (5-4) got his third consecutive victory for the Astros, who enter the All-Star break 2 1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the National League Central.

Florida 6, Colorado 4--The Marlins are the best second-year team in head-to-head competition, beating the Rockies for the third time in a row and the seventh time this season.

Pinch hitter Mario Diaz hit a bases-loaded triple and the Marlins rallied from a four-run deficit to win at Miami. Bret Barberie doubled, homered and scored twice for the Marlins.

Rockie all-star Dante Bichette, who went 0 for 17 in the four-game series, lined out to left with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning.

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