NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Williams Hits 39th, 40th to Lead the Giants
Matt Williams homered twice, increasing his major league-leading total to 40, and drove in five runs Sunday as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Colorado Rockies, 9-4, at San Francisco.
But he didn’t want to talk about it. By the time reporters were allowed into the Giants’ clubhouse, Williams was gone.
“It’s nice, but the important thing is to contribute to us winning,” he said in a statement.
Williams had a run-scoring single in the first, then drove in the go-ahead run with a 415-foot, three-run drive to left in the fourth inning against Mark Thompson (1-1). Williams hit a 420-foot solo homer in the fifth, giving him 95 runs batted in.
“He’s hitting the ball all over the place and driving in runs when they’re needed,” teammate Barry Bonds said.
Darryl Strawberry followed Williams’ first homer with a 435-foot drive off the top of the scoreboard in right. It was his fourth home run with the Giants, who are 17-4 since his July 7 debut.
Bonds preceded Williams’ fifth-inning home run with his 32nd.
Williams reached 40 homers in his 106th game, the fastest a player has reached 40 since Reggie Jackson got there in game 97 in 1969. Williams set a National League record for homers through July but fell one short of the major league record of 41, established by Babe Ruth in 1928 and tied by Jimmie Foxx in 1932.
Rookie right-hander William VanLandingham (7-1) won his fourth consecutive start, giving up four runs and four hits in six innings with six walks. He struck out seven.
Chicago 9, St. Louis 7--Frank Castillo, recently called up from the minors, won for the first time in a year and the Cubs scored six runs in the first inning at St. Louis.
Chicago has won nine of 13 and scored five runs or more in the first inning in three of its last four games. St. Louis has lost six of seven.
Castillo (1-1) gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and two walks. He hadn’t won since July 30, 1993, against the Dodgers.
Omar Olivares (2-4) gave up six runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning with three walks. His earned-run average jumped from 5.34 to 6.21.
Montreal 13, Florida 4--Marquis Grissom went four for five with a home run and scored eluding a rundown as the first-place Expos completed a three-game sweep at Montreal.
Sean Berry and Cliff Floyd also hit homers for the Expos, who have won 11 of 12 games.
Pedro Martinez (9-5) gave up two runs in six innings. For the fourth time this season, he was on the mound during a bench-clearing incident, but no punches were thrown.
Atlanta 9, Philadelphia 5--Jeff Blauser had three hits, scored twice and knocked in the go-ahead run at Atlanta.
Atlanta’s bullpen, which blew a 2-1 ninth-inning lead Saturday when the Phillies scored four runs to win, came through with 5 2/3 innings of two-hit relief after John Smoltz gave up seven hits and all five runs in 3 1/3 innings.
New York 6, Pittsburgh 4--Jeromy Burnitz singled in the go-ahead run in a four-run ninth inning at Pittsburgh.
Mike Dyer (1-1) came on to preserve a 4-2 lead, but retired only one of eight batters he faced in the ninth as the Mets won for the fifth time in six games.
Cincinnati 2, San Diego 1--Bret Boone’s bases-loaded groundout with one out in the 10th inning lifted the Reds at San Diego.
Newly acquired Brian Hunter homered in his second consecutive game for the Reds.
A list of players with the most home runs by July 31.
HR PLAYER TEAM YEAR 41 Babe Ruth N.Y. Yankees 1928 41 Jimmie Foxx Phila. A’s 1932 40 Matt Williams San Francisco 1994 40 Reggie Jackson Oakland 1969 40 Roger Maris N.Y. Yankees 1961 36 Willie Mays N.Y. Giants 1954 36 Johnny Bench Cincinnati 1970 36 Willie Mays N.Y. Giants 1954 36 Willie Stargell Pittsburgh 1971 36 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 1979
If the San Francisco Giants’ Matt Williams and Barry Bonds continue their home run pace, they will have 110 home runs over a 162-game schedule (Williams with 61, Bonds 49). Here are some of baseball’s top home run-hitting duos:
HR YEAR PLAYERS TEAM 115 1961 Roger Maris 61, Mickey Mantle 54 N.Y. Yankees 107 1927 Babe Ruth 60, Lou Gehrig 47 N.Y. Yankees 93 1932 Jimmie Foxx 58, Al Simmons 35 Philadelphia A’s 93 1930 Hack Wilson 56, Gabby Hartnett 37 Chicago Cubs 92 1931 Babe Ruth 46, Lou Gehrig 46 N.Y. Yankees 91 1965 Willie Mays 52, Willie McCovey 39 San Francisco 91 1938 Hank Greenberg 58, Rudy York 33 Detroit 90 1930 Babe Ruth 49, Lou Gehrig 41 N.Y. Yankees 87 1947 Johnny Mize 51, Willard Marshall 36 N.Y. Giants