The Pirates and the Mets split Friday night, Pittsburgh winning a brawl game in the opener and New York taking a more conventional ball game in the nightcap.
Shortly after a free-for-all in the fifth inning of the first game of the doubleheader at Pittsburgh, rookie Barry Bonds hit a two-run home run, and the lowly Pirates went on to score a 7-1 victory.
But in a relatively calm second game, the Mets came back to win, 10-4. Pitcher Rick Aguilera, although he failed to get the victory, hit a home run. Mookie Wilson and Darryl Strawberry also homered for the Mets.
The Pirates were holding a 2-1 lead behind Rick Rhoden with two out in the top of the fifth when Met batter Gary Carter asked umpire Billy Williams to look at the ball. Williams went out to the mound and checked Rhoden's glove and gave the pitcher a warning. After striking out Carter, Rhoden exchanged words with Met first base coach Bill Robinson, a former Pirate star. Robinson lunged at Rhoden, pushing him in the chest. Both benches emptied, and there was a melee that last several minutes. Only Robinson was ejected.
"Robinson was the one always checking the ball," Rhoden said. "I was coming off the field and he called me a cheater. Hey, I didn't want to fight Bill Robinson. I just want to forget it."
The Mets had a different version. According to Manager Davey Johnson, Rhoden was angry because Robinson was asking the umpire to look at the ball.
"Bill told Rhoden he didn't have to cheat, and Rhoden had words with Bill," Johnson said. "I wouldn't have pushed him in the chest, I would have punched Rhoden."
Rhoden had the last laugh. He held the Mets to five hits and a run in 7 innings to improve his record to 5-3.
Bonds, who hit the second home run of his brief major league career, thought the brawl got the Pirates pumped up.
"When everyone else got cranked up, I did, too," said the son of former star Bobby Bonds. "I really didn't know what was happening. I just came running in (from center field)."
Chicago 9, St. Louis 3--Chris Speier, getting a chance to play third base because Ron Cey is in a slump, hit two home runs and drove in four runs at St. Louis as the Cubs dropped the Cardinals into the cellar in the East.
The Cardinals, who had the best record in the majors last season, are 21-29 and trail the New York Mets by 14 games in the East.
Leon Durham and Gary Matthews also homered for the Cubs in an awesome power display at spacious Busch Stadium.
Eight of the Cubs' 12 hits off three pitchers were for extra bases. Danny Cox (1-5), an 18-game winner last season, was the loser.
Montreal 10, Philadelphia 9--The Phillies gave Steve Carlton an 8-1 lead in the top of the third at Montreal, but the veteran left-hander couldn't even make it through the inning.
The Expos scored six times in the third, tied the game at 9-9 with two runs in the seventh and won when Tim Wallach led off the bottom of the 10th with his ninth home run.
Mike Schmidt hit his 10th homer in the first inning to get the Phillies off to a 2-0 start.
Through three innings, the Phillies had 10 hits and eight runs. For the next seven innings, they had one run and four hits. Tim Burke (3-1) pitched a scoreless 10th to gain the victory.
Cincinnati 5, San Francisco 3--Ron Oester drove in one run and scored another in a four-run second inning at San Francisco as the Reds snapped the Giants' four-game winning streak.
Cincinnati's Pete Rose extended his career record for hits to 4,219 with an eighth-inning single.