NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : McGriff in Elite Group After 30th Homer
Fred McGriff became only the ninth player in major league history to hit 30 or more homers in seven consecutive seasons and helped the Atlanta Braves pull away to a 16-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Friday night at Cincinnati.
McGriff’s 30th homer, a two-run shot in the sixth inning, helped break the game open.
Roberto Kelly, Terry Pendleton and Jeff Blauser also homered for the Braves to keep alive Tom Glavine’s unbeaten streak at Riverfront Stadium, where he is 12-0 in 13 starts.
Glavine (13-8) gave up five runs in the first two innings--two on bases-loaded walks.
McGriff joined Jimmie Foxx (12 consecutive years); Lou Gehrig, Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt (9); Mickey Mantle (8); Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Ralph Kiner (7).
“You always strive for consistency,” McGriff said. “Hitting 30 again proves you’ve been consistent over the years. It’s awful tough. It’s like a big rock off my shoulders. Every night, guys know you can hit it out and they try to throw it so you can’t.”
Houston 12, San Francisco 4--Jeff Bagwell set team season records for homers, RBIs and extra-base hits in powering the Astros over the Giants at Houston.
Bagwell homered, doubled and drove in five runs to raise his major-league leading total to 112. He broke the Astros’ club record of 110 RBIs set by Bob Watson in 1977.
Bagwell, who went three for four, hit his 38th homer in the fifth inning to surpass Jimmy Wynn’s club mark set in 1967. He doubled in the third inning and now has 71 extra-base hits this season, moving him past Wynn (1967) and Cesar Cedeno (1972) on the club’s list.
Greg Swindell (8-8) gave up four runs--one earned--and 11 hits in his first complete game this season.
New York 10, Florida 7--Bret Saberhagen won his sixth consecutive game as Mets beat the Marlins at New York for their third win in a row and eighth in 10 games. They are now within one game of .500 (53-54) for the first time since June 6.
Saberhagen (13-4) scattered eight hits in seven innings for his seventh victory in his last eight decisions. Saberhagen, who retired the first 10 batters, has a 1.54 ERA in his last eight starts and has raised his strikeout total to 137 with just 12 walks, for a ratio of 11.4 strikeouts for every walk.
Montreal 5, Philadelphia 0--Pedro Martinez allowed only two hits--both singles--and struck out eight in eight innings at Philadelphia to get his fourth consecutive victory and the Expos’ 15th in 17 games. Martinez (10-5) set up the Phillies all night with hard fastballs, then had them overswinging when he followed up with breaking pitches.
San Diego 4, Chicago 2--Scott Sanders allowed one hit in eight innings for the Padres at Chicago and Eddie Williams and Bip Roberts hit solo homers.
Tony Gwynn went two for five and has hit safely in 21 of his last 25 games on a .408 pace (40 for 98). He leads the major leagues with a .390 average.
St. Louis 11, Pittsburgh 3--Luis Alicea’s three-run double off the first-base bag capped a two-out, five-run fourth inning as the Cardinals won at Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals had 17 hits and drew 12 walks off four Pirate pitchers, while stranding 17 runners--one short of the NL record for a nine-inning game.
Alicea was four for four with three doubles and Todd Zeile drove in two runs for the Cardinals.