After Gary Carter hit a three-run home run in the first inning Friday night at New York, an angry David Palmer of the Atlanta Braves hit Darryl Strawberry with the next pitch to precipitate a brief free-for-all.
After Carter hit a grand slam in the second inning, Palmer went straight to a hot shower to cool off.
Sid Fernandez, given the 7-0 cushion, proceeded to pitch a two-hitter in an 11-0 romp that gave Fernandez a 12-2 record and the Mets an 11 1/2-game lead in the East.
Fernandez, the former Dodger who has become the ace of the brilliant Met staff, actually outhit the Braves. He went 3 for 4, scored two runs and drove in another. He struck out 9 and walked only 3 in pitching his first shutout and winning his seventh in a row.
Strawberry, who was hit in the right hip by Palmer's pitch, flung his bat and batting helmet to the ground and charged the mound. Palmer threw his glove at Strawberry, then sidestepped the irate Met. Umpire Jerry Crawford pushed Palmer away, and both dugouts emptied. As is usually the case in a baseball fight, no damage was inflicted. When order was restored, Strawberry stole second but was stranded. When the inning ended, he and Palmer exchanged glares.
"You have to protect yourself," Strawberry said. "When a guy hits you, then stares at you, what are you supposed to do?"
As pitchers usually do, Palmer denied he was throwing at Strawberry. He said he was merely pitching him inside.
Carter's two home runs and seven runs batted in gave him 16 homers and a league-leading 65 RBIs.
"He (Palmer) should have taken it out on me," Carter said. "I'm the one who hit the ball."
Cincinnati 3, Montreal 2--Last December in a multi-player deal, Andy McGaffigan went from the Reds to the Expos, and Bill Gullickson went from the Expos to the Reds.
In this game at Montreal, their first meeting since the trade, the Reds and Gullickson had the edge. Gullickson gave up 6 hits and 1 earned run in 8 innings to improve his record to 6-6, while McGaffigan, chased in the sixth, was the loser.
When Gullickson gave up a hit to start the ninth, John Franco took over and retired the next three batters. It was the 14th save for Franco, who has been selected to the All-Star team.
Philadelphia 4, Houston 1--When Fred Toliver had to be put on the disabled list a couple of days ago, the Phillies needed another starting pitcher. They selected Don Carman, a hard-throwing left- hander who was the ace of their bullpen last season.
Carman was impressive in his debut as a starter at Houston. He gave up just one hit in five innings and improved his record to 4-2.
Von Hayes hit a two-run homer in the fifth. It was one of only three hits given up by Mike Scott (9-6) in seven innings. Scott struck out nine Phils to run his league-leading total to 167.
St. Louis 4, San Diego 2--Danny Cox, an 18-game winner last season, won his third game this season and his first in nearly a month, at San Diego. Todd Worrell retired the last five Padres to save the win for Cox.
A two-out error by first baseman Steve Garvey in the fourth inning allowed two runs to score and gave the light-hitting Cardinals a lead they never relinquished.
Garvey mishandled Ozzie Smith's grounder with the bases loaded and the game tied, 1-1.
Pittsburgh 8, San Francisco 4--Mike Diaz's two-run homer and Rafael Belliard's two-run triple powered a five-run fifth inning that lifted the Pirates to victory over Steve Carlton at Candlestick Park.
Carlton (4-9), who took the loss in his second start for the Giants, was charged with 5 runs, 3 of them earned, in 4 innings. He has allowed 16 hits and 6 earned runs in 8 innings with the Giants.