Chris Welsh pitched a five-hitter Saturday night at Philadelphia, hit his first major league home run and went the distance for the first time in almost four years as the Cincinnati Reds scored a 7-2 victory over the Phillies.
Hot-hitting Eric Davis and Eddie Milner also homered for the Reds. Davis, who hit a two-run shot in the third to build the Reds' lead to 4-0, is batting .368 in the last 21 games, during which he has hit 7 home runs and driven in 15 runs.
Welsh (3-2) held the Phillies hitless until Steve Jeltz singled with one out in the fifth. He lost his bid for a shutout in the eighth, after hitting his home run in the top of the inning, when Juan Samuel tripled in one run and scored the other on an infield out.
Welsh, a 31-year-old left-hander, was a promising pitcher with the San Diego Padres in the early '80s. After the Padres soured on him in 1983, he spent time with the Montreal Expos and last season with the Texas Rangers. The Reds gave him a tryout in spring training and signed him to a minor league contract.
When two of their top starters, Mario Soto and Joe Price, developed arm problems, the Reds brought Welsh up and gave him his first start June 1. In seven starts before this one, he pitched fairly well in all of them. His best outing was his third start, when he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers but did not get a decision.
The last time Welsh completed a game was in 1982. But he seemed more excited about his home run.
"I've waited more than four years for that," he said. "I'm a converted singles hitter. I hit that ball as hard as I've ever hit a ball.
"I had a good sinker, and they were hitting a lot of ground balls. I also had some super defense behind me, and that really helped."
St. Louis 7, San Francisco 4--The Cardinals made a deal for shortstop Ozzie Smith a few years ago in order to get a solid defensive foundation. He has done just that, helping the Cardinals win a couple of pennants and a World Series.
Smith has also improved considerably as a hitter in the last two seasons. But when he's the top-hitting regular by about 40 points, the team is in trouble.
Smith, batting .297, delivered a two-run triple to cap a three-run 10th inning at San Francisco that enabled the Cardinals to end an eight-game losing streak.
Smith said the Cardinals reacted to the ninth-inning ejection of Terry Pendleton and Manager Whitey Herzog, who were thrown out for disputing a strike call.
"When you get into a rut, it takes something like that to wake you up," Smith said.
Montreal 12, Atlanta 5--After the Expos clobbered the Braves in consecutive games at Atlanta, management decided it was time to make a change. The Braves obtained pitcher Doyle Alexander from Toronto in exchange for minor league pitcher Duane Ward. Alexander is 5-4 with an earned-run average of 4.46.
Tim Wallach hit two home runs, and winning pitcher Bryn Smith hit a three-run smash to spark a 16-hit assault. In the last two games the Expos have scored 23 runs and have totaled 29 hits.
Houston 2, New York 1--Pinch-hitter Denny Walling singled with one out in the ninth and the bases loaded at New York to end the Mets' eight-game winning streak before 50,939, the largest crowd of the season at Shea Stadium.
The hit handed reliever Roger McDowell, the first Met pitcher to win his first seven decisions in a season, his first defeat.
Charlie Kerfield (6-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to get the victory. He finished with a flourish, striking out Darryl Strawberry.
"I heard 50,000 fans screaming when they announced Strawberry as the hitter," Kerfield said. "I wanted to let them know Charlie Kerfield was alive."
Keith Hernandez accounted for the Mets' run with a homer--his sixth--in the first inning.
Chicago 3, San Diego 2--The Cubs had trouble getting runners on base at San Diego, so it took their third home run of the game--No. 11 for Jody Davis--to pull out the victory.
Gary Matthews and Ron Cey hit home runs off Dave Dravecky to wipe out the Padres' 2-0 lead.
"All those home runs are only nice when you win," Cub Manager Gene Michael said. "We've got to get some rallies going. We're still in something of a slump. It would be nice if we had somebody on when they hit home runs."
The Cubs had only five hits before Davis hit the big one off Craig Lefferts.