The Cincinnati Reds did Pedro Guerrero a favor and wound up paying for it.
"I would have walked me," said Guerrero, whose two-run eighth-inning single gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 victory over the Reds Monday night at St. Louis. "I don't know what was on their mind. I know that he gave me a good pitch to hit, and I hit it."
Guerrero drove in his 89th and 90 runs of the season with two out against hard-throwing Cincinnati reliever Rob Dibble as the Cardinals won for the 11th time in their last 15 games.
"I should have been able to get him out," Dibble said. "I made a good pitch. It just wasn't good enough."
Terry Pendleton, a switch-hitter batting .351 for his career with the bases loaded, was on deck when Guerrero connected to score runners from second and third.
Guerrero's hit spoiled a strong effort by Red rookie Scott Scudder, who shut out St. Louis on four hits through seven innings before being relieved by Dibble (7-4). St. Louis starter John Costello (3-2) was relieved by Todd Worrell, who pitched the final inning for his 20th save.
Atlanta 5, Pittsburgh 2--Pete Smith beat the Pirates for the first time in six decisions, and Jeff Blauser hit his third home run in three games as the Braves defeated the Pirates at Pittsburgh.
Smith (4-13) came into the game 0-5 with an earned-run average of 9.32 in five appearances against the Pirates. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, gave up five hits, struck out four and walked three. Mike Stanton, the third Atlanta pitcher, worked the last two innings for his first major league save.
Chicago 6, Houston 1--Greg Maddux pitched a six-hitter and Shawon Dunston hit a two-run double in a four-run first inning to lead the Cubs past the Astros at Chicago.
Houston, which made three errors, lost for the sixth time in seven games. Chicago won for the third time in four games.
Maddux (15-10) won for the ninth time in 12 decisions, striking out four and walking two in his sixth complete game.
Philadelphia 9, San Francisco 1--Charlie Hayes hit a home run and drove in four runs as the Phillies handed Rick Reuschel his worst defeat in two seasons at San Francisco.
Reuschel (15-6) gave up seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings, his worst outing since Oct. 1, 1987. He lost for the first time in three starts since returning from the disabled list.
Ken Howell (11-9) won his second consecutive game and has given up only two earned runs and six hits in his last 16 innings.
San Diego 9, Montreal 4--At San Diego, Jack Clark hit two three-run home runs and Andy Benes won his second consecutive start as the Padres extended their winning streak to five games.
Clark tied a career high with six RBIs, the third time he has done it. Both homers came off Kevin Gross (10-9), and marked the first time this season that a Padre has hit two homers in a game. Clark has 20 homers for the season.
Benes (2-2) pitched 6 2/3 innings in his fourth major league start and was relieved by Mark Davis, who pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for his 32nd save.