After two days of watching the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds take swings at each other in bench-clearing brawls, Buddy Bell of the Reds decided it was better to switch than fight.
Bell, who had not hit the ball out of the infield in his previous nine at-bats, swung up instead of down and hit a one-out, bases-empty homer in the 10th inning Sunday to give the Reds a 6-5 victory over the Braves in Atlanta.
"I felt like I was a coach out there for a while, hitting all those ground balls," Bell said. "I said to heck with swinging down at the ball and swung up a little. It gave me a bigger thrill to hit that home run because of what had happened previously."
In earlier at-bats, Bell hit into a double play with two on and bounced out with the bases loaded.
The benches emptied in the eighth inning when Atlanta's Jim Acker hit the Reds' Tracy Jones. Jones began walking to first base, then charged the mound and began wrestling with Acker. Players from both benches ran onto the field, but only Jones was ejected.
In Saturday's game, the teams got together in a shoving match when Cincinnati's Bill Gullickson hit Atlanta's Andres Thomas. Bell's fifth homer of the season came against Atlanta reliever Gene Garber (8-5). Cincinnati reliever Bill Landrum (3-1) pitched the final two innings for the win.
Trailing 5-2, the Reds scored two runs in the sixth and sent the game into extra innings on Kurt Stillwell's RBI single in the ninth.
Ozzie Virgil drove in three runs for the Braves with his 19th and career-high 20th home runs in the second and fifth innings. Starting pitcher Rick Mahler had two singles for the Braves.
The Reds got home runs in the first inning from Eric Davis, his 22nd, and Dave Parker, his 17th.
St. Louis 7, Montreal 3--Vince Coleman hit a two-run triple and scored on Ozzie Smith's double in the second inning, leading the Cardinals over the Expos in St. Louis.
Cardinal rookie Joe Magrane (5-0) gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings. Bill Dawley pitched the final two innings for his second save.
Coleman's triple off Bob Sebra (3-8) extended his streak to 50 straight games he has reached base by hit or walk.
St. Louis first baseman Jack Clark had RBI singles in the first and eighth innings to increase his major league-leading total to 66.
New York 8, Philadelphia 3--Dave Magadan drove in three runs as the Mets completed a three-game sweep over the Phillies in New York.
The victory was the fourth in a row for New York while the Phillies lost their sixth straight, including four under new Manager Lee Elia.
New York starter Sid Fernandez (9-3) pitched 5 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Roger McDowell pitched the final three innings to pick up his eighth save. Phillies starter Kevin Gross (4-7) gave up six runs in 4 innings.
After the Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, Magadan and Barry Lyons each drove in a run in the bottom of the inning for the Mets. Magadan added a two-run double in the four-run fifth inning.
San Francisco 11, San Diego 2--Kelly Downs scattered four hits through seven innings, and Will Clark, Bob Brenly and Matt Williams hit home runs to lead the Giants over the Padres in San Diego.
Downs (6-3) gave up two runs, struck out three and walked two.
The Giants combined four hits, an error and a passed ball to score four runs in the first inning against Eric Show (2-9).
Brenly hit his fifth homer of the season in the fifth, and Clark connected for his 13th in the sixth. Williams hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his sixth.
Chicago 6, Pittsburgh 3--Keith Moreland hit a two-run homer and Steve Trout won his fourth straight game as the Cubs beat the Pirates in Chicago.
Trout (4-1) allowed seven hits and three runs in 5 innings. Lee Smith picked up his 19th save, tops in the major leagues.
Pittsburgh scored a run in the first on a single by Mike Diaz, but the Cubs came back with three in the bottom of the inning off Pirates starter Doug Drabek (1-6). Andre Dawson, Moreland and Jody Davis each drove in a run.
The Cubs added a run in the fourth, and Moreland hit his 11th homer in the fifth after Leon Durham walked.