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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Nied Fills Need for Rockies

April 16, 1993|From Associated Press

Considering the performance of their bullpen, the Colorado Rockies needed right-handed starter David Nied to not only pitch a strong game, but last until the late innings.

Nied, however, gave them even more--the first complete game in the club's brief history.

He threw a six-hitter and Freddie Benavides broke out of a one-for-18 slump with a two-run bloop single, lifting the Rockies to a 5-3 victory over the New York Mets Thursday at Denver.

The Rockies, ending a three-game losing streak in the final game of their initial home stand, scored four runs in the first inning, highlighted by Benavides' hit, and Nied (2-1) made the early lead stand up, out-dueling Dwight Gooden (1-2) in a rematch of the starters in last week's opening-day game at New York.

Nied, the first pick in the expansion draft, struck out six and walked none.

"David Nied's heart is that big," Colorado Manager Don Baylor said, holding his hands at shoulder width. "I know he was a little bit tired, but I decided the only way I was going to take him out was if it was a tie game. It was his game to lose."

Nied, who defeated the Mets in his first major league start in a late-season stint with the Atlanta Braves last September, said the win was probably even more important for the team than for him.

"We had a three-game skid and we haven't been playing as well as we're capable of," he said. "Today was an uplifting experience as far as what's going to happen in the future with this team."

*

San Francisco 6, Atlanta 1--Barry Bonds had a three-run homer among three hits and drove in five runs, giving the Giants the victory at San Francisco over the punchless Braves.

One night after losing to the Chicago Cubs, 6-0, the Braves managed only six hits off Jeff Brantley (1-0) in 7 2/3 innings--and had none against two relievers. They were held to fewer than three runs for the seventh time in 11 games.

Bonds, who was sidelined the last two games because of a strained right hamstring, started off with a 415-foot shot into the right-field stands off Greg Maddux (1-1) in the first inning. Bonds' third homer followed consecutive two-out singles by Will Clark and Matt Williams.

Maddux had to pitch out of a jam in the next inning with runners on first and third. And in the third, center fielder Otis Nixon missed Clark's high pop fly, and the Giants got three consecutive hits.

Bonds hit a run-scoring single, Royce Clayton put down a bunt single and Kirt Manwaring's run-scoring hit gave the Giants a 5-0 lead.

Bonds made it 6-0 in the seventh, when he doubled off the left-field wall to score Clark from first base.

*

Pittsburgh 5, San Diego 4--Carlos Garcia drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run with one out in the 13th inning at San Diego, and the Pirates defeated the Padres for the sixth consecutive time this season.

Orlando Merced led off top of the 13th with an infield single off loser Jeremy Hernandez (0-1), moved to second on Kevin Young's sacrifice bunt and scored on Garcia's hit to right field. Tom Prince then doubled home Garcia.

The Pirates swept the four-game series and gave Manager Jim Leyland his 600th career victory.

Dennis Moeller (1-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win and Stan Belinda pitched the 13th for his fourth save, despite giving up Fred McGriff's leadoff homer.

Padre reliever Gene Harris was one out from his second save in the ninth when his wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed Kevin Young to tie the score, 3-3.

*

Montreal 2, Houston 1--Expo starter Dennis Martinez threw only 12 pitches before he was thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Larry Vanover for arguing over balls and strikes, but the Montreal bullpen was more than up to the task at Montreal.

Mike Gardiner gave up a run in four innings after replacing Martinez, Jimmy Jones (2-0) went 4 2/3 innings for the win and Mel Rojas got the final out and a save.

A two-run homer by rookie Mike Lansing in the sixth off Doug Drabek (1-2) erased a 1-0 deficit.

Martinez was ejected from the game after he argued that a 2-2 pitch to Steve Finley should have been called a strike.

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