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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Phillies' Lead Shrinks to Only 7 1/2

September 08, 1993|From Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies aren't yet in danger of falling out of first place in the NL East, but their lead is dwindling. When the Phillies lost, 5-4, Tuesday night to the Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia, their season-high lead of 11 1/2 games on Aug. 25 dwindled to 7 1/2 over the Montreal Expos, who won for the 11th time in their last 12 games.

Jose Guzman (12-10) snapped his three-game losing streak and Rick Wilkins homered and drove in two runs as the Cubs won their fifth in a row.

There is no sign of panic in the Phillies' clubhouse as players dismiss any talk about the shrinking lead. The Phillies and Expos meet in a three-game series Sept. 16-18 in Montreal.

Guzman went 7 1/3 innings, giving up 10 hits, striking out nine and walking one. His last victory came on Aug. 17 against Montreal.

Guzman said he's still getting used to the National League after six years with Texas in the American League.

"This is my first year in the NL and I'm still learning about the hitters and the ballparks," Guzman said. "I need more time. I'm just beginning to feel comfortable."

Pittsburgh 4, San Francisco 3--Don Slaught's two-run homer in the eighth inning rallied the Pirates to a victory over the Giants at San Francisco, cutting the Giants' lead to 2 1/2 games over the Braves in the NL West.

The victory broke the Pirates' five-game losing streak.

After the Giants came back from a 2-0 deficit to lead 3-2 in the sixth, reliever Mike Jackson (6-6) issued a two-out walk to Dave Clark and gave up Slaught's 10th home run.

Montreal 4, Colorado 3--Charlie Montoyo's pinch-hit single in his first major league at-bat capped a four-run rally in the seventh inning as the Expos beat the Rockies at Montreal.

Montreal mounted its comeback against three Colorado relievers after rookie starter Curt Leskanic three-hit the Expos over six innings.

With one out, Darrin Fletcher singled off Mike Munoz. Marcus Moore (2-1) relieved and gave up a single to Wil Cordero, then walked Randy Ready. Mike Lansing singled home Fletcher before reliever Steve Reed walked pinch-hitter Rondell White, forcing in Cordero. Lou Frazier's sacrifice fly tied the score and then Montoyo, recalled from triple-A Ottawa earlier in the day, singled in Lansing for the winning run.

Houston 4, New York 3--Jeff Kent's throwing error trying to complete a double play in the 10th inning allowed the winning run to score as the Astros defeated the Mets at Houston.

Trailing 3-2, the Astros loaded the bases with one out off John Franco (3-3) when pinch-hitter Rick Parker singled, Chris James walked and Craig Biggio was hit by a pitch.

Steve Finley grounded to shortstop Jeff McKnight, who threw to Kent at second for the force. Parker scored the tying run and James scored the winner when Kent threw wildly to first base.

Bobby Bonilla had to leave the game with a partially separated shoulder sustained when he slipped while rounding second base.

San Diego 6, Florida 4--Brad Ausmus doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning as the Padres ended a five-game losing streak by defeating the Marlins at San Diego.

With the score 4-4, Derek Bell led off the sixth with the second of his three singles to greet reliever Luis Aquino (6-8). Ricky Gutierrez singled one out later before Ausmus lined his double off the left-center-field fence.

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