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Pirates' Loaiza First to Blank Braves

May 04, 1997|From Associated Press

Esteban Loaiza has a simple explanation for his success so far this season.

"I'm just throwing a lot of strikes," Loaiza said Saturday night after outdueling Tom Glavine in a battle of unbeaten pitchers and helping Pittsburgh defeat the Braves, 3-0, at Atlanta. 'I'm just trying to hit the glove."

Loaiza (3-0) shut out the Braves on four hits over eight innings. Ricardo Rincon pitched the ninth for his second save as the Pirates handed the Braves their first shutout loss this season.

Loaiza's pitching helped Pittsburgh win its third consecutive game--a season high.

"He has the stuff," Pirate Manager Gene Lamont said. "He just didn't pitch aggressively in the past. He's doing well. He kept the ball down really well. He did what he set out to do."

Glavine (4-1) went eight innings, giving up one run on five hits.

"Tommy was . . . practically unhittable," Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said. "It's a shame we couldn't get a run for him."

Glavine retired the first 12 batters before Mark Johnson opened the fifth with a single. Kevin Elster followed with another single and both runners advanced on a sacrifice by Jason Kendall. Johnson then scored on Jose Guillen's groundout, ending a string of 18 consecutive scoreless innings by Glavine.

New York 5, St. Louis 1--Rick Reed pitched seven strong innings and Carlos Baerga went four for four at New York, leading the Mets to their sixth victory in seven games.

John Olerud and Todd Hundley added solo homers as the Mets improved to 14-15.

Reed (3-1) gave up one run and six hits before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. The right-hander struck out six, walked none and actually had his earned-run rise from 1.03 to 1.07.

Baerga, who entered the game batting .181 and had been booed at home during his slow start this season, raised his average to .224 with two doubles and two singles.

Colorado 7, Philadelphia 3--Jamey Wright pitched seven effective innings for his fourth victory and the Rockies took advantage of nine walks to defeat the Phillies at Denver.

Wright (4-1) gave up four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked four. The right-hander has won all four starts in which he has gone seven innings.

The Rockies didn't hit a home run for only third time this season, and managed only seven hits off five Philadelphia pitchers.

After the Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the second on Kevin Stocker's run-scoring single, Colorado used a walk to Eric Young, a double by Ellis Burks and run-scoring singles by Andres Galarraga and Dante Bichette in the third to take the lead. Neither hits by Galarraga or Bichette left the infield.

San Diego 1, Montreal 0--Tim Worrell gave up three hits in 7 2/3 innings and Tony Gwynn knocked in the game's only run with a first-inning home run as the Padres won at San Diego.

Worrell, 0-3 with a 6.16 earned-run average in his last four outings, retired 11 consecutive batters before running into trouble in the eighth inning.

Worrell (2-3) who walked a career-high seven batters in his last start at Florida, walked one and hit two batters. The right-hander struck out eight.

Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 1/3 innings for his fourth save, striking out the side in the ninth.

Worrell hit Vladimir Guerrero to lead off the eighth and Joe Orsulak's one-out, pinch-hit single moved Guerrero to third.

But with Mark Grudzielanek at the plate, Orsulak broke for second and Guerrero went home. Catcher John Flaherty's throw was cut off by second baseman Quivilo Veras, who threw out Guerrero at the plate.

Florida 9, Houston 8--Moises Alou's two-out infield single in the 13th inning ending the Marlins' 10-game road losing streak.

With two outs, Kurt Abbott and Gary Sheffield hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and third.

Alou then hit a sharp grounder to the left of third baseman Sean Berry, who knocked the ball down but had no play at first as Abbott scored the go-ahead run.

Felix Heredia (2-0) pitched a scoreless 12th for the victory. Jay Powell retired three batters in the 13th for his first save of the season.

Ramon Garcia (2-1), who gave up Alou's infield single, took the loss.

The Astros threatened in the bottom of the 13th when Jamie Mouton hit a leadoff double and Jeff Bagwell followed with a fly out that moved Mouton to third. After Derek Bell walked, Powell got Berry to hit into a game-ending double play.

Trailing, 8-6, the Marlins tied it in the ninth on homers by Greg Zaun and Abbott. Both homers came off John Hudek, who had been five for five in converting save opportunities.





Player Team Performance Team's Result Carlos Baerga New York 4 for 4, 2 runs, entered game batting .181 Win Tony Gwynn San Diego seventh home run in last 73 at-bats Win




Player Team Performance Team's Result Esteban Loaiza Pittsburgh 8 innings, 4 hits, shut out Braves Win John Smiley Cincinnati 7 innings, 7 hits, 0 runs, 8 strikeouts Win Jamey Wright Colorado 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts Win Rick Reed New York 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 6 strikeouts Win


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