Dave Parker was given a rude greeting Friday night when he returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since testifying last year in a drug trial.
The Cincinnati right fielder was the object of boos and criticism in the form of several banners in the bleachers. One read: "Dave Parker Loafed Here."
Parker and the Reds had the last laugh, though. The slugger drove in three runs with a double and his ninth home run, and scored in the 11th when Eddie Milner hit a triple with the bases loaded to give the Reds a wild 12-9 victory.
In a hastily called press conference before the game, Parker downplayed the possibility of any fan misbehavior. In his final seasons with the Pirates, Parker was often the target of objects thrown by bleacher fans.
"I don't know why everybody expects trouble," he said. "I don't think the fans here would come out with the intention of hurting anybody. Besides," he added with a smile, "I brought my wife here to handle any funeral arrangements."
Parker is the object of a suit by the new owners of the Pirates, who claim that Parker violated his contract with the Pirates by using a drug illegally and is not entitled to the $3.5 million the Pirates owe in deferred pay. Parker said attorneys are handling that problem and all he wants to do is play baseball.
Parker doubled in a run in the third and hit a two-run homer in the fourth to help the Reds build a 9-5 lead.
A two-run single by Johnny Ray cut the lead in half in the seventh, and the Pirates tied it with a weird rally in the eighth. The rally consisted of two singles, a misplayed bunt, a catcher's interference and a sacrifice fly.
In the 12th, with a runner on second and two out, Jose DeLeon gave Parker an intentional pass. Nick Esasky also walked to fill the bases. On a 3-and-2 pitch, Milner lined the ball off the wall in right to clear the bases.
Chicago 4, Houston 1--The Cubs finally got some runs for Rick Sutcliffe in this game at Chicago, and the big right-hander responded with his best pitching performance of the season.
Sutcliffe, who missed a turn last week at Houston because of food poisoning, pitched a five-hitter and struck out seven to improve his record to 2-6.
Leon Durham lined a two-run double, and Ron Cey followed with a run-scoring single for a three-run fourth that gave Sutcliffe all the support he needed. The Cubs have scored only seven runs in his six defeats.
"Someone said it isn't always how you pitch, sometimes it's when you pitch," Sutcliffe said. "Sometimes, you have to be lucky."
St. Louis 3, Atlanta 2--All season long, the Cardinals have had trouble getting hits with runners in scoring position. This game at St. Louis was no exception. They were 1 for 12 with a runner on second or third.
The one hit, though, was a two-out, bases-clearing double by Terry Pendleton in the first inning. It was the first time since the second game of the World Series last year that the third baseman had driven in more than one run in a game.
John Tudor, with relief help from Ricky Horton and Todd Worrell, ended a string of six starts without a victory and improved his record to 3-3.
Tudor gave up five hits in 7 innings. Horton got one out, and Worrell retired the last four batters in order.
San Diego 7, New York 4--Tony Gwynn hit a three-run home run with two out in the ninth inning at San Diego to give the Padres the victory.
Mookie Wilson went 5 for 5 for the Mets, but he also turned out to be the goat. With two out and nobody on in the ninth, Wilson misjudged Jerry Royster's drive to center, and it went for a double. Jesse Orosco walked Garry Templeton before Gwynn hit the first pitch for his fifth homer.
Montreal 4, San Francisco 3--Hubie Brooks and Tim Wallach hit two-run homers at San Francisco to help Floyd Youmans win his fourth game in a row.
Youmans gave up only three hits in 6 innings but needed help from Tim Burke and Jeff Reardon, who picked up his ninth save.
Brooks' home run was his 11th, Wallach's his seventh. The win put Montreal three games behind New York in the East.