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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Braves Knock Rockies Out of First Place, 3-2

August 14, 1995|From Associated Press

Rookie Mike Mordecai thinks bench players get a bad rap.

"People think we sit around and goof off in the dugout or watch TV in the air-conditioned clubhouse," said Mordecai, who singled in the winning run Sunday in the Braves' 3-2 victory over Colorado at Atlanta.

"It's not that way. We're up and down, keeping the blood circulating. We talk about the pitchers. I have an idea when I walk up to the plate late in a close game, and it takes a little help from your friends."

Colorado reliever Darren Holmes (5-1) retired the first two Braves in the ninth, then walked Dwight Smith and Luis Polonia. Mordecai then ripped a 2-0 pitch down the right-field line to score Smith and hand Colorado its sixth loss in seven games.

It was Mordecai's second game-winning hit. He singled in a run in the 10th inning to defeat St. Louis on June 9.

"Only got nine hits, so I've got to make them count," Mordecai said.

John Smoltz gave up both runs in the fourth. Ellis Burks had a run-scoring double and Joe Girardi a run-scoring single.

Mark Wohlers (6-3) pitched the ninth to earn the victory.

Bret Saberhagen, making his third start for the Rockies, worked seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs, both coming on home runs to Chipper Jones and Javy Lopez.

Florida 6, Cincinnati 4--The Marlins capped a six-game sweep against first-place teams and the best homestand in the team's three-year history.

Mark Gardner earned his fifth consecutive victory in front of a crowd of 40,027, the largest at Joe Robbie Stadium since opening night.

Terry Pendleton hit a two-run double and Jeff Conine added his 20th homer for the surging Marlins, who have won 10 in a row at home and 14 of 16 overall. Florida had baseball's worst record as recently as June 7.

Gardner (5-4) gave up one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. After winning three from Colorado and three from Cincinnati, Florida begins a three-game series today at Atlanta--another first-place opponent.

San Francisco 6, Chicago 3--Deion Sanders hit an upper-deck homer, forced in a run with a walk and helped break up a bench-clearing brawl at San Francisco.

Both dugouts and bullpens emptied when Chicago's Shawon Dunston charged the mound after getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. Dunston appeared to punch Giant pitcher Sergio Valdez, who had a cut below his left eye.

Valdez (1-2), who got his first major league win since 1991, fell apart after the incident. He gave up a single by Mark Grace and a run-scoring double by Sammy Sosa, and was taken out of the game.

Sanders hit a solo shot 395 feet into the upper deck in right field in the third.

Montreal 3, Philadelphia 2--Tim Laker's solo homer in the ninth was the difference for the Expos at Philadelphia.

Laker's home run, his third, came after Philadelphia's Gregg Jefferies had tied the score with a solo shot in the eighth.

The win went to reliever Tim Scott (1-0).

Houston 5, New York 3--James Mouton drove in four runs and Shane Reynolds (8-7) settled down after a shaky first inning to earn the victory at Houston.

Reynolds gave up four hits in the first inning, but didn't give up another hit until the sixth.

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