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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Good News Travels in Pairs for Marlins

May 14, 1997|From Associated Press

The Florida Marlins routed the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night at Atlanta in a matchup of the top teams in the National League East, then the Marlins received even better news.

Gary Sheffield injured his left thumb diving for a sinking liner in the sixth inning and had to be taken to the hospital while the Marlins finished off an 11-5 victory over the Braves.

There was an air of nervousness in the Marlin clubhouse, but X-rays were negative. Sheffield suffered a mild sprain and is doubtful for tonight's game, team officials said, but he isn't expected to be out of the lineup for more than a few days.

"It's a scary situation," catcher Charles Johnson said. "We got the win, but no one came in here playing loud music or anything like that. Everyone was waiting to hear what happened to Sheff."

Bobby Bonilla hit a grand slam, his first homer in 49 games, to highlight a seven-run fourth inning that pulled the Marlins within four games of the Braves.

Bonilla, whose last homer came Sept. 15, 1996, when he was still a member of the Baltimore Orioles, had gone 129 at-bats without one before he drove a pitch deep into the right-field stands against Paul Byrd.

The Marlins, who had only 26 homers in their first 37 games, took advantage of a break in the Braves rotation to snap out of their power drought.

Tom Glavine sat out his first scheduled start since Sept. 15, 1992, because of a left hand that was still sore from being hit by a pitch while he was batting against the Marlins last week.

"We caught a big break," Marlin Manager Jim Leyland said, "but at least we were able to take advantage of it."

Rookie Tony Saunders (2-1) beat the Braves for the second time in a week, giving up only five hits and three runs in seven innings.

"I have no idea," Saunders said when asked about his mastery of the defending NL champions. "It just seemed tonight when I needed to make good pitches, I made good pitches."

Montreal 7, San Diego 3--Pedro Martinez improved to 6-0 with his second complete game of the season.

Martinez, who entered with a major-league leading 0.50 earned-run average, gave up three runs--two earned--and 11 hits at Montreal. The right-hander struck out seven, walked none and his ERA rose to 0.79.

Henry Rodriguez hit a three-run homer, and Rondell White went three for four with three runs batted in as Montreal won for the fourth time in six games.

Martinez, who hasn't given up more than two earned runs in his last 13 starts, tied the franchise record for consecutive wins to open a season.

Rodriguez's homer off Fernando Valenzuela (1-5) highlighted the Expos' four-run first.

Valenzuela lost his fourth consecutive decision. The left-hander gave up six runs--five earned--and seven hits in four innings.

Philadelphia 3, St. Louis 2--Scott Rolen's two-run triple highlighted a three-run eighth inning at Philadelphia.

St. Louis starter Andy Benes blanked the Phillies for seven innings before the Cardinals' bullpen blew it.

Philadelphia starter Garrett Stephenson gave up only two hits and struck out 12 in seven innings of his first major-league start. The 25-year-old right-hander fanned the first five batters he faced.

Solo homers by Tom Lampkin and Delino DeShields had given the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Benes, who gave up only five hits in seven innings, was relieved by Lance Painter to start the eighth. Painter walked his first two batters before being lifted for T.J. Mathews (1-2). Rolen followed by lining his triple down the right-field line to tie the score, 2-2.

One out later, Ruben Amaro hit a slow grounder to third baseman Gary Gaetti, who had no shot of getting Rolen at the plate.

Jerry Spradlin (1-1) pitched the eighth for the victory and Ricky Bottalico worked the ninth for his eighth save. Bottalico gave up a one-out walk to Ray Lankford, who was thrown out attempting to steal by catcher Mike Lieberthal on Mark Sweeney's strikeout.

New York 4, Houston 3--Butch Huskey's solo homer in the seventh inning at New York sent the Mets to their fourth consecutive victory.

Met starting pitcher Armando Reynoso hit his third career homer as New York won for the 12th time in 16 games.

Huskey, who has four homers in his last six games, broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh by hitting a 1-and-1 pitch from Russ Springer (1-1) into the left-field bullpen.

Sean Berry homered for the Astros, who have dropped three in a row and six of their last eight.

Greg McMichael (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Reynoso, and John Franco worked the ninth for his 11th consecutive save.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Jeff Kent San Francisco grand slam is all the Giants need Win Bobby Bonilla Florida ends 49-game drought with grand slam Win Henry Rodriguez Montreal home run, three RBIs Win

*--*

PITCHING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result G. Stephenson Philadelphia 12 strikeouts in first start Win Tony Saunders Florida beats Braves for second time in a week Win Pedro Martinez Montreal Improves to 6-0, but ERA rises to 0.79 Win

*--*

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