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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Olson Unlikely Source of Power for Braves

August 05, 1993|From Associated Press

For Greg Olson of the Atlanta Braves, it has been an unusual two days.

Olson capped a four-run rally in the eighth inning with a three-run homer Wednesday to give the Braves a 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta--his second homer in two days, but only his fourth of the season.

"Did you notice the distance on the home runs," joked Olson.

The light-hitting Olson, who entered the game in the sixth inning as a part of a double switch, raised his average to .222.

Tuesday's home run traveled 419 feet. Wednesday's went even farther--421 feet.

"I just want to stop the rumors now," Olson said. "I'm not on steroids, and I don't cork my bat."

Fred McGriff led off the eighth with a single against reliever David West (3-3), and David Justice walked. West struck out Terry Pendleton and pinch-hitter Francisco Cabrera before giving up a run-scoring single to Mark Lemke.

Olson, who hit a two-run homer in Atlanta's 5-3 loss to the Phillies Tuesday, then homered over the left-center field wall.

"I wanted the pitch to Olson to be down and in, but I got it up," West said. "I was in control until then. But I put the pitch to Olson in a spot where I didn't want to put it."

Jay Howell (2-3) earned the victory with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Greg McMichael picked up his fourth save with a scoreless ninth.

San Diego 11, San Francisco 10--Tony Gwynn tied a club record with six hits and pitcher Pedro Martinez drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded squeeze bunt as the Padres rallied to win in 12 innings at San Diego.

Rickey Gutierrez led off with a single and advanced to third one out later on Gwynn's sixth hit, also a single. After Phil Plantier was walked intentionally, Martinez bunted to pitcher Bryan Hickerson (5-3).

It was Gwynn's fourth five-hit plus game of the season, tying a major-league record last accomplished by Stan Musial in 1948.

With the Padres trailing 10-7 in the eighth, Plantier hit a three-run homer off San Francisco relief ace Rod Beck with two outs.

It was also a big game for Barry Bonds, who scored five runs to tie the Giants' club record set by Willie Mays on two occasions.

St. Louis 10, Florida 2--Luis Alicea hit a grand slam during a sloppy six-run third inning at St. Louis and the Cardinals moved within 6 1/2 games of division-leading Philadelphia in the National League East.

The Marlins helped the Cardinals by walking six batters in the third.

Bernard Gilkey, making his first start at first base, added a solo home run, singled in a run and walked three times.

Montreal 3, New York 1--Chris Nabholz pitched three-hit ball for eight innings and Larry Walker hit a home run to lead the Expos at Montreal.

Nabholz (7-7) gave up only an infield hit through five innings before Charlie O'Brien led off the sixth with a double. It was the fifth time in seven starts that Nabholz lasted at least eight innings.

John Wetteland got the last three outs for his 24th save.

Cincinnati 9, Colorado 3--Chris Sabo's third grand slam of the season powered the Reds at Cincinnati and handed the Rockies their 10th consecutive loss. The losing streak matches the longest in the majors this season.

John Roper (2-1), who belittled the Rockies after beating them in his major league debut May 16, came off the disabled list and beat them again. The right-hander gave up four hits and one run in six innings, striking out a career-high six. Sabo's grand slam in the fifth against Greg Harris (10-11) put the Reds up, 8-1, and tied a club record.

Pittsburgh 6, Chicago 5--Orlando Merced's two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Pirates the victory at Chicago in a game in which both managers were ejected. With Pittsburgh trailing, 5-4, Jay Bell singled with one out, and Merced followed with a homer off Shawn Boskie (3-2). Jeff Ballard (2-0), who retired the only batter he faced, got the victory. Denny Neagle earned his first save.

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