Dave Parker drove in five runs with a pair of home runs Friday night at Cincinnati to become the first National League batter to drive in 100 runs this season and lead the Reds to an 11-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Parker hit a two-run home run off Rick Sutcliffe (4-13) in the fifth inning and a three-run shot to right off Ron Davis in the sixth. Parker, in another big season, has 28 homers and 102 RBIs. He has a chance to surpass last season, when he had 34 homers and 125 RBIs.
Sutcliffe, who has lost seven in a row, was hammered for 9 runs and 11 hits in 5 innings. He has not won since June 2.
Tom Browning (12-11) settled down after giving up two runs in the third inning and breezed to the victory.
Manager Pete Rose said early in the season that he thought that Parker, without a doubt, was the best player in baseball. He hasn't seen any reason to change his mind.
"I think he's the best player around. What he does never ceases to amaze me," Rose said. "I really did not expect him to come close to the season he had last year, but here he is."
This is a season of milestones for the 35-year-old right fielder. Earlier, he passed the 1,000 mark in RBIs. With four more hits, he will reach 2,000.
"It feels good to be the first one in the league to drive in 100," Parker said. "It shows the old man ain't through yet.
"I hurt my wrist and went into a slump, so I tried a lighter bat. It was a smart move, because I'm hitting the ball again."
St. Louis 8, Houston 5--Tommy Herr had three hits and drove in four runs at Houston as the Cardinals came from behind. The loss cut Houston's lead in the NL West to seven games.
Rookies Fred Manrique and Jim Lindeman hit home runs for the Cardinals, who have 43 in 134 games.
Rookie Ray Soff pitched three scoreless innings and became the winner when Herr singled in the tie-breaking run in the seventh.
Atlanta 4, Pittsburgh 3--Glenn Hubbard and Terry Harper hit consecutive doubles with two out in the ninth inning at Atlanta to spoil Rick Rhoden's bid for his 16th victory.
Rhoden, who twice in his career has won 16 games, had a 3-2 lead going into the seventh, but Rafael Ramirez doubled and scored on Ozzie Virgil's single to tie it.
San Francisco 8, Montreal 4--Scott Garrelts took care of the Expos at Montreal. Garrelts (12-9) pitched four scoreless innings of relief and hammered a three-run home run in the eighth after Jose Uribe had singled in the tie-breaking run.
The Giants gave Vida Blue a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, but the veteran left-hander couldn't hold it.