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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Valenzuela Pitches In as Padres End Slump

From Associated Press

In his 15th major league season, Fernando Valenzuela is showing he has learned from the previous 14.

The 34-year-old left-hander earned his first victory as a starter in 2 1/2 months, giving up one run in six innings Sunday at New York, as the San Diego Padres defeated the Mets, 4-1, to end a four-game losing streak.

“He’s a proven winner,” San Diego Manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s changed the way he’s pitched. He’s smart, and he’s adjusted to his new roles.”

Also on the 10-game trip, Valenzuela pitched San Diego out of a jam in Montreal and earned a victory in relief in Philadelphia.

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“I’ve been using him both ways,” Bochy said. “I might give him another start next Friday. It all depends on how the rotation goes.”

Valenzuela (4-3) struck out four and walked three to help stop the Mets’ three-game winning streak. His last victory as a starter came June 6 against Philadelphia, four starts ago.

Atlanta 3, Chicago 1--Tom Glavine gave up five hits in 7 2/3 innings before leaving because of a back problem, and he hit a run-scoring single at Chicago to lead the Braves to their seventh consecutive victory.

Glavine (13-5) struck out four before injuring his back in the eighth inning when he slipped off the mound while pitching to Brian McRae. The Braves said he was taken from the game as a precautionary measure, and Greg McMichael got the final out of the inning.

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Mark Wohlers pitched the ninth inning for his 20th save.

St. Louis 10, Colorado 5--John Mabry hit a home run and two doubles as the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of the Rockies at Denver.

David Bell added four hits and three runs batted in for the Cardinals, who had a season-high 18 hits. They won for the eighth time in 10 games and their season-best fourth time in a row.

Mabry, who had nine hits in the series, hit Armando Reynoso’s second pitch of the game for his third homer of the season, and the Rockies were beaten by St. Louis rookie right-hander Brian Barber.

Cincinnati 10, Pittsburgh 1--Pete Schourek won his 14th game and had three of the Reds’ 16 hits in completing a three-game sweep of the Pirates at Pittsburgh.

The Reds had 54 hits and batted .419 while outscoring Pittsburgh, 36-10, in the series. The Pirates committed five errors in their fifth consecutive loss.

“That’s the best team we’ve seen all year,” said Jay Bell, one of only four veterans remaining from the Pirates’ 1990-92 division title teams. “If they keep up this pace, they’re going to be a tough team to beat in the playoffs.”

Schourek (14-7), a left-hander who had never won more than seven games before this season, gave up five hits in seven innings. He struck out three and threw only 89 pitches before Johnny Ruffin was brought in for the last two innings.

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Montreal 1, San Francisco 0--Kirk Rueter pitched a one-hitter in his first start since returning from a 3 1/2-month stay in the minor leagues, and the Expos used an unearned run to beat the Giants at Montreal.

Rueter (1-2), pitching in place of suspended Carlos Perez, gave up only a third-inning single to Kirt Manwaring in a game that lasted 1 hour 54 minutes--the second shortest game this season.

Mark Leiter (9-8) pitched a four-hitter in his third consecutive complete game, but was hurt by Robby Thompson’s throwing error in the fifth inning, which led to the Expos’ only run.

Florida 10, Houston 2--The Astros tied a club record with their 10th consecutive defeat, giving up six runs in the first inning of a loss to the Marlins at Houston.

Terry Pendleton drove in five runs for the Marlins, who extended a franchise record with their 13th consecutive home victory.

Pat Rapp (9-7) gave up one run in seven innings to win his fourth start in a row.


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