Andres Galarraga almost had a chance to do what no major leaguer has done--hit a home run in four consecutive innings.
He lost his chance in the ninth inning of Colorado’s 11-3 victory Sunday at San Diego when Dante Bichette and Larry Walker struck out with the bases loaded. Galarraga was on deck when the third out was made.
“Believe me, I wanted to hit so bad,” said Galarraga, who homered in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and drove in a career-high seven runs as Colorado split the four-game series with the San Diego Padres.
Galarraga became the fourth major leaguer to homer in three consecutive innings. The last to do it was Larry Parrish of Montreal on July 30, 1978. The others were George Kelly for the New York Giants in 1923 and Carl Reynolds for the Chicago White Sox in 1930,.
Galarraga, hitting only .154 in his last 10 games, saved the most impressive shot for last, hitting a three-run homer off Fernando Valenzuela in the eighth inning that went six rows into the second deck at Jack Murphy Stadium.
It was only the 12th time in 28 years that a home run reached the second deck in San Diego.
Galarraga also hit two-run shots off starter Scott Sanders (5-4) in the sixth inning and off Willie Blair in the seventh.
Florida 5, Cincinnati 1--David Weathers pitched five hitless innings before he was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt, and Terry Mathews gave up three hits the rest of the way at Cincinnati.
The Marlins scored four times off ailing Jose Rijo (3-4) to take control early, and the game settled into a pitching drama that turned on a freak injury.
Weathers (2-3) had given up only two walks and had a 5-0 lead when he came to bat in the sixth inning with a runner on first base. He squared to bunt, leaving him vulnerable to Tim Pugh’s high-and-tight fastball.
The ball hit the little finger on Weathers’ pitching hand as he jerked away, splitting it open by the top knuckle. He needed seven stitches to close the cut.
Mathews, who has allowed only five runs in his last 23 2/3 innings, kept the Reds hitless until Reggie Sanders led off the seventh with a check-swing single to right.
The Marlins hit the ball hard off Rijo, who went into the game with a 2.06 career ERA against Florida. They went down in order only once in Rijo’s four innings.
The next big test for Rijo, who might need season-ending elbow surgery, will be to see how the injury reacts in the next few days.
Houston 19, Chicago 6--The Astros set a team scoring record and had the highest run total in the majors this season.
Houston, which scored in every inning after the third, had nine runs in the eighth inning at home to break the team record of 18, set in 1971 and matched in 1974.
Jeff Bagwell drove in five runs, Derek Bell went three for six with three RBIs and Brian Hunter was three for five with four runs scored. John Cangelosi entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and came to bat twice, getting a walk, a stolen base and a three-run homer.
All nine runs in the eighth inning came with two outs against Bryan Hickerson.
Philadelphia 5, St. Louis 3--Rookie Tyler Green came within one out of his third shutout and Charlie Hayes hit a three-run homer at St. Louis.
Green (7-4) was removed after the Cardinals loaded the bases on a triple and two two-out walks in the ninth inning. Heathcliff Slocumb then gave up a two-run single by pinch-hitter Bernard Gilkey and a run-scoring single by Brian Jordan before getting the final out for his 19th save.
Atlanta 4, New York 2--Greg Maddux gave up a season-high 10 hits in six innings but still won his fifth consecutive decision and Ryan Klesko hit a tie-breaking double at Atlanta.
Maddux (7-1), who has given up seven earned runs in his last 56 innings, did not walk a hitter and has a streak of 32 innings without a base on balls.
Klesko’s one-out double to right-center in the fifth scored David Justice and ended a 2-2 tie.
Pittsburgh 1, Montreal 0--Esteban Loaiza combined with two relievers on a six-hit shutout at Montreal.
Loaiza (4-3) scattered five hits in seven innings. Dan Miceli worked the ninth for his ninth save.