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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Flaherty's Homers End Padres' Slide

May 02, 1997|From Associated Press

When losing streaks start, sometimes it seems they'll never end. That's the way it was for the eight-game spin the San Diego Padres were in.

"It's so hard to get out of a thing like this," relieved Manager Bruce Bochy said after the Padres used four home runs, two of them by catcher John Flaherty, to defeat the Mets, 7-3, on Thursday at New York.

Andy Ashby (2-1) gave up eight hits as the Padres won for the first time since defeating St. Louis on April 20. Ashby was the winning pitcher in that game, as well.

"We had the right guy out there today, and we put a good game together," Bochy said.

Ken Caminiti and Greg Vaughn also homered for the Padres, who halted the Mets' four-game winning streak. Dave Mlicki (0-3) gave up three homers and eight hits in five innings.

Flaherty tagged Mlicki twice for his first homers of the season.

"Both of them felt good," Flaherty said.

After the Padres wasted two hits in the first inning, Flaherty hit his first homer with one out in the second, sending a 3-and-2 pitch into the left field bullpen.

San Diego made it 2-0 in the third when Quilvio Veras doubled over Bernard Gilkey's head in left field, moved to third on an infield out and scored on Tony Gwynn's sacrifice fly. Gwynn had three hits.

Flaherty opened the fourth with a first-pitch homer, again reaching the bullpen in left field. It was his first two-homer game.

Pittsburgh 3, San Francisco 2--Al Martin, who had struck out in five consecutive at-bats, completed a three-run fifth inning off Shawn Estes with a run-scoring double and the Pirates rallied to defeat the Giants at Pittsburgh.

Steve Cooke (2-3) continued his trend of pitching effectively every other start, limiting the Giants to two runs over 6 1/3 innings to win in Pittsburgh for the first time in seven decisions.

Estes (4-1), who won his first four starts after beginning the season with only three major league victories, couldn't hold a 2-0 lead and suffered his first loss.

In the fifth, Jose Guillen doubled and Joe Randa walked before Estes threw a one-out wild pitch. Tony Womack followed with a single to right.

Martin, who struck out four times Wednesday night against Mark Gardner, followed an out later with his run-scoring double.

St. Louis 3, Florida 2--Rookie Matt Morris retired his first 17 batters and gave up four hits in 7 1/3 innings as the Cardinals defeated the Marlins at St. Louis for their fifth consecutive victory.

The Cardinals, 12-8 since a franchise-worst 0-6 start, swept a two-game series from the Marlins, who came in with a five-game winning streak. Florida is 12-2 at home but 3-9 on the road.

Mark Sweeney had a two-run, bases-loaded single in the first and Delino DeShields had a sacrifice fly in the fourth for St. Louis.

It took Morris (1-1) five starts to get his first victory, although he has a 2.59 earned-run average. He struck out five and walked one, and the Marlins didn't have a hard-hit ball until pitcher Alex Fernandez doubled to left with two out in the sixth as Sweeney barely missed a diving catch.

Atlanta 4, Cincinnati 2--Michael Tucker hit the first of the Braves' three homers, as Atlanta carried over their remarkable April success to a new month by defeating the Reds at Cincinnati.

Atlanta, which won a major league-record 19 games in April, started another month with another methodical victory. John Smoltz (3-3) gave up five hits and two runs in eight innings, and Mark Wohlers pitched out of a jam in the ninth to remain perfect in seven save chances.

Javier Lopez and Ryan Klesko added homers off the NL's worst pitching staff. Lopez picked Hal Morris off first base as Eddie Taubensee struck out, ending the game.

Red Manager Ray Knight's frustration spilled out in his first ejection of the season. Knight, who admitted he wanted to get ejected to fire up his team, was thrown out by home plate umpire Wally Bell for arguing a ball-and-strike call in the fifth.

Montreal 4, Houston 0--Pedro Martinez pitched a three-hitter and lowered his earned-run average to 0.31, leading the Expos over the Astros at Montreal.

Martinez (4-0) has not given up an earned run in 25 innings since making his first start April 15 at Houston. He struck out nine and walked two in his first complete game of the season.

Martinez gave up only a double by Craig Biggio in the fourth inning, a single by Tony Eusebio in the eighth and a two-out double by Thomas Howard in the ninth.

Darrin Fletcher homered for the fourth time in five starts and also hit a run-scoring double. Montreal completed a two-game sweep and won for the eighth time in 11 games overall.

Mark Grudzielanek led off the Montreal first with a single, extending his hitting streak to 16 games--longest in the majors.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

Player: John Flaherty

Team: San Diego

Performance: 3 for 4, two solo homers

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: M. Grudzielanek

Team: Montreal

Performance: singled, extended hitting streak to 16 games

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Darrin Fletcher

Team: Montreal

Performance: 2 for 4, double, homer, 2 RBIs

Team's Result: Win

PITCHING

Player: Pedro Martinez

Team: Montreal

Performance: three-hitter; no earned runs in last 25 innings

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Matt Morris

Team: St. Louis

Performance: Rookie retired first 17 batters, 4 hits, 2 runs

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Andy Ashby

Team: San Diego

Performance: 9 innings, 2 earned runs, 3 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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