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National League Roundup : Cardinals, Trailing 7-1 in 4th, Defeat Reds, 9-7

August 23, 1987|DAN HAFNER

For the first 100 games this season, the St. Louis Cardinals were the best hitting team in baseball. In the next 21, they were among the worst.

As the slump deepened in the past week, the Cardinals seemed in danger of losing their lead in the National League East.

The Cardinals came out of it with a bang Saturday night at Cincinnati. They trailed the heavy-hitting Reds, 7-1, after four innings but erupted for a 9-7 victory to increase their lead to four games.

Terry Pendleton's two-out, bases- loaded triple in the seventh inning was the decisive blow in the Cardinal comeback. But Red Manager Pete Rose went against a baseball axiom shortly before Pendleton's hit.

With Tommy Herr on second and two out, Rose ordered Jack Clark, representing the potential winning run, intentionally walked. After Willie McGee was unintentionally walked, Pendleton drove the ball to deep center field, where it caromed off the glove of Eric Davis.

"I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to start hitting again," Manager Whitey Herzog said. "We have not played well since the All-Star break, but this is the way we were playing when we built our big lead.

"This was like a breath of fresh air. After tomorrow's game here, we spent most of the rest of the season (26 of 39) at home. With our two best pitchers, John Tudor and Danny Cox, starting to round into form, maybe we are ready for the stretch drive."

Pendleton thought his long drive was just another out. "I saw the ball going out to center field and I thought, 'Oh, no," he said. "I was fortunate that Eric finally missed one."

In the eighth inning with two out and the bases loaded, Davis made a diving catch of Clark's low liner to end another threat.

The Cardinals, in contrast to recent games, went on a hitting spree. They pounded out 14 hits, three of them by Ozzie Smith, who drove in three runs. Although he doesn't have a home run this season and bats in the No. 2 spot, Smith has driven in 62 runs.

Johnny Morris, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning, also had three hits.

In six previous games, five of which they lost, the Cardinals scored only 12 runs and had only 38 hits.

Davis' two-run home run, his 34th homer, got the Reds off to a fast start in the first inning.

The loss dropped the Reds into third place in the West, a half-game behind the Houston Astros and a game behind the San Francisco Giants.

Houston 5, Chicago 4--Andre Dawson's major league-leading 41st home run only tied the game in the eighth inning at Chicago.

Kevin Bass provided the game-winner for the Astros in the 11th inning to give them their second victory in eight games against the Cubs this season.

Dawson came to bat in the eighth with the Cubs trailing, 4-3, and belted a Mike Scott pitch for his fifth home run in his last 11 at-bats.

Larry Anderson (8-4) pitched two scoreless innings to gain the victory.

San Diego 8, New York 3--The Padres didn't let the loss of their starting pitcher deter them from knocking the Mets out of second place in the East.

In the third inning at New York, Ed Whitson was struck in the knee by a line drive off the bat of Dave Magadan and had to leave the game.

But Randy Ready hit a two-run home run, and John Kruk also homered as the Padres gave Sid Fernandez a rude welcome upon his return from a shoulder injury.

Fernandez, out since July 29, allowed five runs and six hits in six innings.

Mark Davis gave up two hits and two runs in four innings of relief to win it and move the Padres to within three games of the fourth-place Dodgers.

Montreal 5, San Francisco 4--Just about every time the Expos win a close game, it's because Tim Raines has come through again.

Raines hit a booming triple with none out in the 10th at Montreal to drive in Mitch Webster from first base and put the Expos ahead of the Mets in the East.

The Expos tied it with two out in the bottom of the ninth. With Andres Galarraga on third base, Vance Law bounced a hit off relief pitcher Scott Garrelts' glove to send the game into extra innings.

Atlanta 10, Pittsburgh 3--Glenn Hubbard's two-run double ignited an eight-run fifth inning at Atlanta and carried rookie Tom Glavine to his first victory.

Glavine (1-1) gave up 7 hits in 7 innings. He lost his shutout when Mike Diaz opened the sixth with his 13th home run.

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