The San Diego Padres relived a nightmare in broad daylight Thursday.
The Padres seemed to be on their way to an easy victory behind the pitching of Dave Dravecky when the Montreal Expos scored seven runs in the seventh inning and dealt the Padre hopes in the West another blow with an 8-5 victory at San Diego.
The game was reminiscent of a Padre defeat on another Thursday afternoon, July 25, when they led St. Louis, 5-1, only to lose, 9-6, after their pitching fell apart in the last three innings.
"That hurts quite a bit," Padre Manager Dick Williams told the Associated Press. "It looked like we were coasting, but Dravecky pitched very well. It's unfortunate."
Dravecky was leading, 5-0, and had allowed only two hits when the Expos staged their biggest inning of the season.
The outcome was as uplifting to the Expos as it was devastating to the Padres, because Montreal is trying to stay in the race in the East.
"Everybody keeps trying to put the last nail in the coffin, but we keep sitting up," Montreal Manager Bob Rodgers said. "We need a great West Coast trip to help us get back in the race."
Andre Dawson capped the rally with a three-run double over the head of center fielder Kevin McReynolds to give Montreal the lead.
The hit came off rookie reliever Lance McCullers, who had an 0-and-2 count on the Expo slugger.
"He threw me a slider on the outside part of the plate," Dawson said. "He probably made a mistake trying to be too fine. I wasn't trying to hit it out of the park--I was just trying to hit it hard."
Dawson led off the inning with a single, and Tim Wallach singled one out later. Andres Galarraga walked to load the bases, and Mitch Webster singled in the first run.
Mike Fitzgerald drove Dravecky from the mound with a two-run single, bringing on reliever Gene Walter (0-2). Walter struck out U.L. Washington, but Tim Raines hit a run-scoring double, and McCullers walked Terry Francona to load the bases before Dawson delivered.
Raines hit his eighth homer of the season in the ninth. Bert Roberge (3-1) got the victory, and Jeff Reardon gained his 33rd save.
The Padres built their lead with the help of McReynolds' three-run homer in the fourth and a solo shot by Garry Templeton in the fifth.
Cincinnati 6, Pittsburgh 0--Buddy Bell homered and doubled to drive in five of the Reds' runs, and Tom Browning pitched a seven-hitter at Cincinnati to hand the Pirates their 18th consecutive road defeat.
Bell hit a two-run double in the third inning and a three-run homer off Jose DeLeon (2-15) in the fifth.
Pete Rose, the Reds' player-manager, had a single in three at-bats, leaving him eight hits shy of breaking Ty Cobb's all-time record of 4,191.
Browning (14-9) has the most victories by a rookie in the majors this season.
San Francisco 6, New York 3--Chili Davis hit a three-run homer with one out in the 10th inning at San Francisco as the Giants handed the Mets their third straight loss.
Davis, who hit his homer off Terry Leach (2-2), went 3 for 5, drove in five runs and scored twice.
Scott Garrelts (8-3) pitched two innings in relief for the victory.
The Mets tied the score, 3-3, in the top of the ninth when Howard Johnson tripled to right-center with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Wally Backman.
Gary Carter hit his 18th homer for the Mets.
Atlanta 9, Chicago 6--Bruce Benedict drove in three runs on a single in the sixth inning and added a run-scoring ground-out in a five-run eighth as the Braves beat the Cubs at Chicago for their fourth victory without a loss under interim Manager Bobby Wine.
The Braves are trying to figure out if it was the installation of Wine or Benedict that touched off the winning streak. One of Wine's first moves was to make Benedict his regular catcher.
Rick Mahler (17-12) pitched 5 innings for the victory, and Rick Camp earned his second save. Lary Sorensen (3-6) took the loss.
Leon Durham had five RBIs for Chicago with a three-run homer in the eighth, a bases-empty shot in the fifth and a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.