Ryne Sandberg doubled home two runs in the ninth inning at Philadelphia Wednesday night to give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 victory over the Phillies.
Sandberg provided the early fireworks to the disappointment of the National League's largest crowd of the season--56,092--on hand for an early celebration of the Fourth of July.
The Phillies' had snapped a 2-2 tie in the eighth when Ozzie Virgil singled with the bases loaded, but Sandberg followed singles by Thad Bosley and Billy Hatcher with his game-winning double.
By driving in the Cubs' first run in the third inning with a single, Sandberg, last year's Most Valuable Player, had extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
If the Cubs are going to repeat in the East, they are going to need considerable help from Sandberg and he appears to be ready to lend a hand. He has 11 hits in his last 22 at-bats.
The Cubs, who pulled within four games of St. Louis in the East, beat the Phillies' bullpen ace, Kent Tekulve, who gave up one run in the eighth and then lost it in the ninth.
Dennis Eckersley opened for the Cubs but had to leave after giving up two runs, one earned, in five innings, because his shoulder stiffened. Lee Smith, although he gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth, gained the victory in relief.
New York 6, Pittsburgh 2--George Foster hit a three-run home run in the first inning at New York, and against the light-hitting Pirates, that was enough to give Ed Lynch his fifth victory.
The Pirates had nine hits but scored only two runs, and they have only 36 runs in their last 17 games. Jose DeLeon, the losingest pitcher in the majors, gave up five hits in seven innings and lost his 11th game.
Foster's three-run blast was his 12th home run of the season and gave him 11 RBIs in the last 11 games. A crowd of 46,220 was on hand.