The Houston Astros aren't going anywhere except home in October. What they're trying to do is play a role in deciding which teams are going places.
Denny Walling drove in three runs, and Glenn Davis slammed a solo home run and a double Friday night at St. Louis to give the Astros a 7-5 victory over the East-leading St. Louis Cardinals.
The defeat trimmed the Cardinals' lead over the New York Mets to two games.
"It's been a tough year for us," Walling told United Press International. "We know we're not going to go any place. Our season has been a real disappointment. Everyone knows that.
"But we get excited about playing a team like the Cardinals who are in first place in their division. We get pumped for that like teams did when we were on top in 1979, '80 and '81. You just naturally get up for No. 1. We can't go anywhere but maybe we can stop other teams from going somewhere, too."
The Astros are 5-5 against St. Louis this season with two games remaining.
Mike Scott (14-7) allowed seven hits, struck out three and walked two in pitching 6 innings before giving way to Frank DiPino. Dave Smith got the last out for his 20th save. Kurt Kepshire (10-8) took the loss.
In the first, Bill Doran, Craig Reynolds and Walling singled for a run. Jose Cruz doubled to drive in Reynolds, and Kepshire walked Jerry Mumphrey to load the bases. Kevin Bass scored Walling with a sacrifice fly.
Kepshire walked Scott, and Doran doubled before Rick Horton entered in the second inning. Walling singled to score Scott and make it 4-1. Davis hit his 10th home run of the season in the third.
"Glenn Davis has a chance to be a good one," Herzog said. "I really like the way he swings the bat."
The Cardinals got a run in the first inning when Willie McGee, who had four hits to raise his league-leading average to .367, singled and scored when Tommy Herr singled and Cruz booted the ball in left field.
St. Louis made it 5-2 in the fourth inning on consecutive singles by Vince Coleman, McGee and Herr with two out.
The Astros added two runs in the seventh to take a 7-2 lead when Walling singled home a run, stole second and scored on a single by Cruz.
The lead appeared safe, but the Cardinals rallied when Cesar Cedeno, acquired from Cincinnati Thursday, homered in his first at-bat for St. Louis. The Cardinals scored twice in the ninth on Coleman's run-scoring ground-out and an RBI single by McGee.
"With the Cardinals, you're never safe," Houston Manager Bob Lillis said. "It looked like an easy game but no game is easy with the Cardinals."
New York 2, San Francisco 1--Howard Johnson's two-out, run-scoring double after an error opened the door in the ninth inning and gave the Mets the victory at San Francisco.
Giant left fielder Dan Gladden had Danny Heep's fly ball bounce out of his glove for a two-base error before Johnson delivered off Mike Krukow (8-10).
Ron Darling (13-5) threw a five-hitter for the Mets and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth by getting Gladden to line to center field for the last out.
The Mets' Keith Hernandez singled home a run--only his second RBI in the last 18 games--to break a scoreless tie in the sixth, and Jose Uribe's run-scoring double in the seventh inning tied the score for the Giants.
Cincinnati 1, Pittsburgh 0--Jay Tibbs pitched a five-hitter, and Max Venable doubled home a run in the ninth at Cincinnati as the Reds handed the Pirates their 19th consecutive road defeat.
With one out in the ninth, Ron Oester lined a double off the glove of third baseman Bill Madlock for his third hit of the game. Max Venable, batting for Tibbs (7-15), lined his game-winning double out of the reach of left fielder Denny Gonzalez. The hits came off Rick Reuschel (10-7).
Cincinnati Manager Pete Rose went 0 for 2 and still needs eight hits to break Ty Cobb's career record of 4,191.
Atlanta 8, Chicago 1--The wind was blowing in at Chicago, but Terry Harper and Bob Horner still managed to hit home runs as the Braves routed the Cubs for their fifth victory without a loss under interim Manager Bobby Wine.
Joe Johnson (2-0) scattered 11 hits in his first major league complete game. The rookie right-hander walked one and struck out two.
Harper's 17th home run of the season, a three-run blast off Ray Fontenot (5-8) broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Horner hit a solo shot, his 23rd homer, in the sixth.