Steve Avery pitched a five-hitter Wednesday night at New York as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Mets, 6-1. Oh yeah, the 21-year-old left-hander also went four for four at the plate.
"I'm more impressed with my pitching," Avery said. "That's what I want to talk about. I'm not a hitter."
Perhaps, but with his bat, Atlanta's No. 1 pick in the 1988 amateur draft produced a triple and run scored.
The record for most hits in a game by a pitcher is five, last accomplished by Mel Stottlemyre of the New York Yankees on Sept. 26, 1964, against the Washington Senators. Stottlemyre is now the Mets' pitching coach. The last pitcher to have four hits in a game was Danny Jackson for the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 4, 1988.
"I think a couple of my hits were seeing-eye," Stottlemyre said. "A couple were off Claude Osteen and he was a good pitcher. But Avery hit his harder tonight than I did."
Avery's only other complete game in 33 career starts was a six-hit shutout last Aug. 24 against Chicago. He walked three and struck out three, giving up the Mets' only run on a ninth-inning home run by Howard Johnson, his 13th.
Avery (7-4) sparked a four-run fifth inning off Ron Darling (2-4) with a single. He also tripled and scored on Jeff Blauser's sacrifice fly in the sixth. His fourth hit, a single leading off the eighth, also helped provide his team with a run.
Three hours before the start of the game, a Northwest Airlines 757 flew over Shea Stadium at a height of 1,000 feet after aborting its landing at LaGuardia Airport during heavy thunderstorms.
The plane cleared the Stadium by 1,000 feet, throwing a scare into the few at the ballpark, who said the plane was wobbling as it passed overhead.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said planes normally clear the stadium at 2,500 feet and that "there was no close call."
Montreal 10, Cincinnati 9--Tim Wallach had four hits, including his third home run in four days, and Dave Martinez went three for three with two RBIs as the Expos outslugged the Reds at Montreal.
Scott Ruskin (2-1) pitched one inning to get the victory. Randy Myers (2-4) took the Reds' first loss in four games.
Wallach's fourth hit of the game, a single in the eighth inning, scored Marquis Grissom with the go-ahead run. Grissom drew a one-out walk from Myers and went to second when Ivan Calderon followed with another walk.
Calderon took third on Wallach's hit and scored on Eric Bullock's sacrifice fly, giving Montreal a 10-8 lead.
Chris Sabo homered for the Reds, his eighth.
Houston 3, Philadelphia 2--Steve Finley's bases-loaded single with two out in the ninth inning at Houston gave the Astros their fourth consecutive victory.
Jeff Bagwell started the inning with a single off Joe Boever (3-5) and went to second on Ken Caminiti's sacrifice.
After pinch-hitter Ken Oberkfell was intentionally walked and Casey Candaele struck out, Rafael Ramirez walked to load the bases. On a 3-2 count, Finley lined a single past Phillie right fielder Dale Murphy for the winning run.
Al Osuna (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory.
Chicago 6, San Francisco 1--Shawn Boskie gave up seven hits over 7 2/3 innings and Ryne Sandberg capped a five-run fourth inning with a two-run single to lead the Cubs at Chicago.
It was the first victory since April 27 for Boskie (3-5), who lost his bid for a shutout and a complete game in the eighth inning. Tony Perezchica led off the eighth with a pinch double and scored on a pair of infield outs.
San Diego 7, St. Louis 2--Tony Fernandez hit a tiebreaking single to ignite a five-run rally in the eighth inning, preserving a fine effort by Bruce Hurst as the Padres beat the Cardinals at San Diego.
Hurst (7-3) gave up four hits over eight innings. After a two-run single to opposing pitcher Omar Olivares in the second inning, Hurst retired 14 consecutive batters before Rex Hudler hit a bunt single in the seventh. Hurst struck out four and walked one.
Olivares pitched well, but the bullpen collapsed in the eighth inning when the Padres scored on on RBI singles by Fernandez and Tony Gwynn, a two-run single by Tim Teufel and an RBI single by Benito Santiago.
Cris Carpenter (7-2) took the loss.