NL WEST RACE : Braves Maintain Their Lead Because the Giants Also Lose

September 13, 1993|From Associated Press

Ricky Gutierrez hit a home run and Phil Plantier added a two-run double during a five-run fourth inning Sunday as the San Diego Padres beat Steve Avery and the Atlanta Braves, 5-4, at San Diego.

The Braves, who lost for only the sixth time in 32 games, remained one game ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West because the Giants lost to St. Louis, 4-2.

Avery (16-5) suffered his first loss since Aug. 3, and only his second in nine decisions.

"We were disappointed not to pick up a game on the Giants, but St. Louis did us a favor by winning," Avery said.

Rookie Scott Sanders (3-1) gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Gene Harris pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

St. Louis 4, San Francisco 2--The Cardinals completed a four-game sweep at San Francisco, as the Giants' losing streak reached a season-high five games.

The Giants have lost 12 of 18.

"Their lack of confidence is what's hurting the Giants," Cardinal Manager Joe Torre said. "It appears everybody is trying to do it themselves, and you can't because it's still a team game."

Rheal Cormier (6-6) beat John Burkett (18-7) for his first victory since June 28. Cormier gave up two runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. Paul Kilgus pitched the ninth for his first save.

Despite having skipped his last turn to rest his arm, Burkett stayed winless since Aug. 11. He gave up four runs and nine hits in eight innings and struck out five.

Matt Williams hit his 33rd and 34th homers for the Giants. First baseman Will Clark, in his first action since injuring his knee Aug. 25, was hitless in four at-bats.

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