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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Clark's Bat Thaws, Chilling Pirate Streak

June 05, 1991|From Associated Press

The coldest hitter on the team with the worst record in the major leagues cooled off the hottest team in baseball.

Will Clark broke out of a slump by going three for five with a three-run home run and four runs batted in, and the San Francisco Giants stopped Pittsburgh's nine-game winning streak, 5-3, Tuesday night at Pittsburgh.

Clark ended Pirate starter Zane Smith's 16-inning scoreless streak with a homer in the first inning, then drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the fourth after Barry Bonds' two-run homer in the third inning tied the score. Clark, a lifetime .302 hitter, was three for 36 entering the game.

Clark lifted an 0-and-2 fastball over the left-field wall for his 11th homer of the season.

"For me it was a big at-bat because I've been swinging the bat well with no results at all," Clark said. "For that to happen on the first swing of the bat felt extremely good. It was good for the team because it got some guys to relax."

Smith (7-3) gave up nine hits and all five runs in 4 1/3 innings.

"It was a pitcher's nightmare," Smith said. "You hate to do that when your team's in a streak, but, unfortunately, you can't control when you'll have your control."

The Giants won their third in a row. Pittsburgh was trying for its first 10-game winning streak since September 1978.

New York 4, Cincinnati 2--David Cone had an angry exchange with Bud Harrelson after the manager called for a pitchout in the fourth inning at Cincinnati. Once the finger-pointing ended, Cone won his third in a row.

Cone (6-3) gave up four singles in eight innings and struck out a season-high 13. He gave up only one hit after the fourth-inning argument near the Mets' water cooler.

He had struggled with his control, walking three and striking out three in the first inning, and he called the argument a turning point.

"We had a heated disagreement," Cone said. "It ended there. It was healthy. In a roundabout way I think it helped this club. It showed we were out there for blood, so to speak."

Cone threw his glove as he left the field in the fourth, angry Harrelson had called for a pitchout with Reds reliever Kip Gross at bat and Billy Hatcher on first base.

Harrelson was angry that the pitcher second-guessed the call, and poked his finger in Cone's chest as he made his point. Several players stepped between them, ending the argument.

Atlanta 9, Philadelphia 5--Tom Glavine won his seventh game in a row to become the major leagues' first nine-game winner, and Jeff Blauser drove in a career-high six runs at Atlanta.

The Braves' sixth victory in eight games spoiled the return of Dale Murphy, who was hitless in four at-bats in his first appearance at Atlanta since being traded to the Phillies Aug. 3.

Glavine (9-2) allowed 10 hits, walked none and struck out three in 7 2/3 innings.

The game was marred by an eighth-inning brawl after Atlanta's Otis Nixon was hit by Wally Ritchie. Nixon charged the mound and wrestled Ritchie to the ground, throwing half a dozen punches as players from both teams rushed the mound.

San Diego 7, Chicago 1--Darrin Jackson had two singles and drove in two runs in a seven-run second inning, and Andy Benes (3-6) pitched eight scoreless innings at Chicago in the Padres' fifth consecutive victory.

It was San Diego's longest winning streak since Sept. 14-19. The Cubs' three-game winning streak was broken.

Montreal 4, Houston 1--Tom Runnells got a victory at Houston in his first game as a major league manager when Delino DeShields hit a two-run homer to lead the Expos.

Runnells replaced fired Buck Rodgers on Monday.

The Expos ended their five-game losing streak and extended Houston's losing streak to five.

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