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Baseball Roundup : Clark Getting Better but Will He Be Ready?

October 04, 1987|DAN HAFNER

He had only one swing and he popped up to first base, but the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping it may mean that power hitter Jack Clark will see some action in the National League playoffs.

It happened in the fifth inning Saturday at St. Louis during a 7-1 loss to the New York Mets before 45,845 fans. The Cardinals, with a major league-leading attendance total of 3,030,232, are only the third franchise to surpass 3 million in a season, joining the Dodgers and the New York Mets.

In his other try, Sept. 25 at Chicago, Clark swung, fell down and took himself out. Manager Whitey Herzog hopes to give Clark two at-bats in the regular season finale today.

"He is getting better," Herzog said. "He hit the ball good in batting practice. He said he wanted to hit."

Before midnight tonight, Herzog will have to submit his 24-man roster for the best-of-seven series with San Francisco that begins Tuesday at St. Louis.

Although Dan Driessen is expected to start at first base in the opener, Herzog indicated he would probably put Clark, who had 35 home runs and drove in 106 runs with 28 games remaining, on the roster.

"He's got to face live pitching sometime," Herzog said. "He came back to the dugout and said, 'I can do better than that."'

San Francisco 6, Atlanta 3--Kevin Mitchell hit a three-run home run at San Francisco as the Giants tuned up for the playoffs with their 14th win in the last 20 games.

Kelly Downs (12-9) gave up only two hits in five innings and struck out four as he made a pitch for a postseason assignment.

Montreal 5, Chicago 4--At Montreal, Andre Dawson hit his 49th home run, but the Cubs sank deeper into the cellar in the NL East.

Tim Wallach hit his 26th home run with two out in the seventh to enable the Expos to remain tied with the Mets for second place in the East.

Dawson needs a home run in the last game of the season today to become the first National League player to hit 50 home runs in a season since George Foster had 52 for Cincinnati in 1977.

Houston 6, Cincinnati 4--The Reds' Rob Murphy relieved in the seventh inning at Houston to set a major league record for appearances by a left-handed pitcher with 87. But he arrived too late to stop a five-run rally that gave the Astros the victory.

Pittsburgh 10, Philadelphia 5--Barry Bonds hit a tie-breaking three-run home run at Pittsburgh as the Pirates moved within a game of fourth place in the East. If the Pirates beat the Phillies today, they will tie for fourth place.

Kent Tekulve made an appearance in relief for the Phillies. It gave him a record three seasons in which he pitched in at least 90 games.

Milwaukee 8, Boston 4--Paul Molitor went 3 for 3 at Boston with two doubles and a single but he has almost no hope of overtaking ailing Wade Boggs to win the batting title.

Molitor, who will go up against Roger Clemens seeking his 20th victory and another Cy Young Award today, would have to go 6 for 6 to beat out Boggs, seeking his fifth batting title and third in a row.

Boggs, who underwent knee surgery Friday, finished at .363. Molitor raised his average to .356.

"Wade Boggs is the best hitter in the game and he deserves the title," Molitor said.

Greg Brock had three doubles to help the Brewers clinch third place in the AL East.

New York 6, Baltimore 3--Don Mattingly joined the multitude of players who have hit 30 home runs this season, and Bill Gullickson improved his record with the Yankees to 4-2 in this game at New York.

Chicago 17, Oakland 1--Gary Redus drove in four runs in an 11-run fifth inning at Chicago with a single and double, and Harold Baines was 4 for 5 as the White Sox won easily.

Kansas City 4, Minnesota 2--Danny Tartabull hit an inside-the-park home run at Kansas City for his 34th homer and 100th run batted in this season. It was the fourth loss in a row for the Twins since clinching the West. They are 29-51 on the road.

Seattle 6, Texas 4--Alvin Davis hit his 29th home run to lead the Mariners at Arlington, Tex., and Lee Gutterman improved his record to 11-4.

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