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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Brown Cuts Down Pirates and ERA

June 22, 1996|From Associated Press

Kevin Brown's earned-run average is headed in the same direction as his sharp-breaking sinker--down.

Brown pitched a five-hitter and lowered his ERA to 1.88, best in the major leagues, as the Florida Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-0, on Friday at Miami.

Devon White hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, but Gary Sheffield's two-run double in the first was all Brown (6-5) needed. The right-hander struck out seven, walked none, hit a batter and didn't give up a hit through the first five innings.

"The story was Kevin Brown," Pirate Manager Jim Leyland said. "He was outstanding. He had the ball moving all over the place."

Armed with the sinker, 16 of Brown's outs came on grounders.

"They gave me a nice cushion to work with," he said. "From there, my job was just to get the ball over the plate."

Atlanta 8, San Francisco 7--Rookie Jermaine Dye doubled home Jeff Blauser with one out in 11th inning, lifting the Braves past the Giants at Atlanta.

In the 11th, reliever Rod Beck (0-2) walked Blauser and Javier Lopez beat out a grounder to shortstop. Dye then doubled to the fence in right-center, scoring Blauser to give the Braves their fourth consecutive victory.

Atlanta has won 16 of its last 19 games against San Francisco, whose winning streak ended at four games.

Philadelphia 4, Colorado 3-- Rookie David Doster hit his first major league home run with two outs in the 10th at Philadelphia, and the Phillies stopped a six-game losing streak.

Doster homered off Bruce Ruffin (2-2), making a winner of Toby Borland (4-2) in relief. Doster also doubled in the tying run in the eighth.

Colorado starter Armando Reynoso gave up only three hits and one run in six innings.

New York 9, Cincinnati 4--Todd Hundley hit a pair of two-run homers, Bernard Gilkey added a two-run shot, and the Mets' much-maligned bullpen held the Reds scoreless over the final six innings at New York.

The Mets rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie it with a four-run fourth, and then took the lead in the fifth.

Jose Vizcaino singled off Roger Salkeld's knee to open the inning and Johnny Ruffin replaced the Reds' starter. Gilkey then hit a 3-2 pitch over the back wall of the left-field bullpen to put the Mets ahead, 6-4.

Jerry DiPoto (2-1) replaced starter Pete Harnisch and pitched three scoreless innings. Dave Mlicki pitched the last three innings for his first career save.

Montreal 4, St. Louis 3--Shane Andrews hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the 12th inning to lift the Expos at Montreal.

F.P. Santangelo hit a two-out single off Dennis Eckersley (0-5), stole second and scored when Andrews singled to left.

Mel Rojas (4-3) gave up one hit in three innings for the victory.

The Cardinals tied it in the eighth off reliever Tim Scott on a sacrifice fly by Ray Lankford.

San Diego 2, Chicago 1--Jody Reed's one-out single in the 10th lifted the Padres to the victory at San Diego, ending a five-game losing streak.

Tony Gwynn led off with a double off Turk Wendell (4-2). After Steve Finley was intentionally walked, Ken Caminiti grounded to first to advance the runners.

Reed followed with a fly ball over drawn-in center fielder Brian McRae.

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