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Bonilla Just Can't Come to His Defense

May 08, 1997|From Associated Press

When the Florida Marlins signed Bobby Bonilla, they hoped his bat would make up for his play at third base.

It didn't on Wednesday night.

Bonilla drove in a run but made two fielding miscues--one an error, the other a mental mistake--to help Atlanta beat the Marlins, 3-2, in 10 innings in Miami.

Bonilla's fifth error of the season allowed Tony Graffanino to score the winning run in the 10th inning. Earlier in the game, Bonilla chose to throw to first base instead of getting a runner going to the plate.

"I just missed it--that's it," Bonilla said of his 10th-inning error.

Florida overcame a 2-0 deficit against Greg Maddux only to fall short. Fred McGriff hit his fifth home run of the season and scored two runs to go with Maddux's solid performance.

Mike Bieleki earned his second save by pitching out of a jam in the 10th inning when the Marlins loaded the bases.

Paul Byrd (2-0) earned the win by pitching a perfect ninth, and Jay Powell (0-1) took the loss by giving up the unearned run on Bonilla's error.

The victory improved Atlanta to 23-9, the best record of any Braves team after 32 games.

"There's a reason they are that good," Florida Manager Jim Leyland said. "but we're good too. We just had a little bit of a miscue there at the end."

The winning run scored when pinch-hitter Javier Lopez hit a chopper to Bonilla. The ball hit off his glove and bounced by the shortstop and into left field as Graffanino scored.

A miscue by Bonilla in the fifth allowed Atlanta to take a 1-0 lead.

With McGriff on third base, Eddie Perez hit a chopper to third. Bonilla had time to get McGriff at home plate, but double-pumped and ended up throwing to first to get Perez as McGriff scored.

Fans booed Bonilla for not throwing home and again when he came up to hit in the sixth.

Pittsburgh 14, Colorado 3--There's an easy answer to the question: if a team is tied for last in the major leagues in home runs with 14 and then hits five in one game, where was the game played?

It was in Denver, where the Pirates' Jason Schmidt and Marc Wilkins combined to shut out Colorado through six innings and got homers from Al Martin, Jason Kendall, Kevin Elster, Jose Guillen and Joe Randa in support.

The Pirates pounded out 17 hits.

Andres Galarraga had two solo homers for the Rockies.

Schmidt left the game in the fourth inning because of a bruised right knee, suffered when he was struck by a smash from Larry Walker, who collected two hits to raise his major league-leading average to .420.

Wilkins (2-0) replaced Schmidt with runners on first and second and got Galarraga to hit into a double play. Wilkins lost the shutout when Galarraga hit his first homer, his sixth, in the seventh inning. Jeff Reed added an RBI single.

Until those two runs, Pittsburgh pitchers had given up only four earned runs in the previous 53 innings.

New York 4, Houston 1--Butch Huskey broke a 1-1 tie in the ninth with a two-run, pinch-hit home run for the Mets, who won at Houston.

Huskey homered off reliever Tom Martin (1-1), who had not given up a run all season.

Huskey's long shot over the wall in left field boosted the effort of Met starter Armando Reynoso (2-0), who pitched eight solid innings for the victory, giving up only four hits and a run.

John Franco pitched the ninth inning for his eighth save.

Carl Everett followed Huskey's homer with a single. Everett moved to second on a sacrifice, stole third and scored on John Olerud's sacrifice fly.

St. Louis 14, Philadelphia 7--Ray Lankford hit a grand slam to cap a nine-run seventh inning for the Cardinals, who won in St. Louis.

Ron Gant hit a two-run homer for the second night in a row and Gary Gaetti broke a 1-for-15 slump with a three-run homer in the seventh-inning outburst.

The game was tied, 5-5, when Gant singled home Dmitri Young. Another run scored on a balk by reliever Jerry Spradlin before Gaetti's second home run of the year made it 10-5. Reggie Harris (0-2), who gave up three runs in two innings, was the loser.

San Diego 6, Chicago 3--John Flaherty drove in three runs on three hits, including a homer, and the bottom of the Padres' slumping lineup came up big in a win at San Diego.

Flaherty hit his third homer of the season with one out in the eighth inning off Kent Bottenfield. His sixth-inning single put the Padres up, 3-2.

Steve Finley, in his second game back after a stint on the disabled list, gave the Padres a cushion with a two-run double in the sixth. The Padres won for only the fourth time in 17 games, and had their second-highest run total in eight games.

Chris Jones, replacing slumping Greg Vaughn, had two hits.





Player Team Performance Mike Lansing Montreal 4 for 5, 2 HRs in 6th inning, 5 RBI John Flaherty San Diego 3 for 4, HR, 3 RBI Ray Lankford St. Louis 3 for 4, 4 runs, HR, 4 RBI

Player Team's Result Mike Lansing Win John Flaherty Win Ray Lankford Win




Player Team Performance Team's Result Greg Maddux Atlanta 7 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs Win A. Reynoso New York 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run Win Ramon Martinez Dodgers 8 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs 6 strikeouts Win


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