Already one of the best hitters in the majors, Tony Gwynn has suddenly turned slugger.
Gwynn and Kevin McReynolds hit consecutive home runs off John Tudor in the eighth inning Thursday to give the San Diego Padres a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego.
"I can't pinpoint why I have nine home runs," said Gwynn, whose previous season high was six. "For me, it's unbelievable, especially at this point of the season.
"I've never hit this many since college. And five of them were off left-handers. It's been a strange season. I'm hitting close to .380 against lefties."
For the second time in three games, Gwynn had a home run that figured in a winning rally.
While Gwynn has been on a hot streak, it was the first home run for McReynolds since June 14.
Tudor (6-5) has not won since June 7. He allowed 9 hits, struck out 5 and walked 1 before he was relieved after McReynolds' homer. He also gave up a homer to Bruce Bochy in the third.
St. Louis broke a 1-1 tie on Tito Landrum's run-scoring single and Mike Heath's sacrifice fly off Dave Dravecky in the third, and the Padres closed to 3-2 on Gwynn's run-scoring single in the fifth.
Craig Lefferts (6-3) pitched two innings of relief to earn the win.
San Francisco 6, Pittsburgh 3--Bob Brenly's three-run homer in the sixth inning did a lot more than send the Giants to this victory over the Pirates at San Francisco.
Brenly hadn't hit a home run in a month, was getting squeezed out of a job and said, "I read in the paper today that they're ready to start putting flowers on my grave."
'It (the homer) meant a lot to me. I was getting frustrated. I felt I wasn't contributing. Today was just a fantastic day for me."
Brenly lost his first-string catcher's job to 24-year-old Bob Melvin, who has better defensive skills, and has been filling in at catcher and first base.
Rookie Randy Kutcher hit a solo homer in the fifth as the Giants broke a 1-1 tie against Pittsburgh's Bob Walk (4-5).
Vida Blue (6-4) pitched five innings and worked out of several jams to gain the victory. He allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 4 walks and stranded 6 runners.
New York 5, Atlanta 1--George Foster hit a three-run double in the fifth inning, and Gary Carter added a solo homer as the Mets broke a three-game losing streak, equaling their longest of the season, by turning back the Braves at New York.
Bob Ojeda (10-2) won his fourth straight decision, allowing only an unearned run in his fifth complete game of the season. He allowed seven hits--four singles by Terry Harper and a double and two singles by Dale Murphy.
The Braves' Ken Griffey went 0 for 4, breaking his 19-game hitting streak. Griffey hit in 10 straight games for the Braves after being acquired from the New York Yankees, where he hit safely in his last nine games.
Houston 11, Philadelphia 4--Glenn Davis drove in four runs, and Denny Walling went 4 for 4 at Houston to help Astro rookie Mark Knudson get past the Phillies for his first major league victory.
The victory kept the Astros tied with San Francisco for the West lead.
Knudson (1-3) had a rocky start, giving up two runs in the first inning, but then settled down to retire 16 batters in a row before he gave up four consecutive singles in the seventh and was relieved.
The Astros took the lead for good with three runs off Charles Hudson (4-9) in the bottom of the first on Walling's RBI single and sacrifice flies by Davis and Kevin Bass.
Montreal 8, Cincinnati 6--Vance Law's two-run triple was the big blow as the Expos scored six runs with two out in the fourth inning to beat the Reds at Montreal.
Bryn Smith (7-5) gave up seven hits in seven innings, and Jeff Reardon put down a Cincinnati rally in the ninth for his 20th save as the Expos snapped Cincinnati's three-game winning streak.
Montreal roughed up Chris Welsh (3-3) for 8 hits and 7 earned runs in 3 innings.
Tim Raines singled home a run in the fourth before Law tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Tim Wallach delivered a two-run single later in the inning.