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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Jones' Junk Good For Another Win

May 18, 1997|From Associated Press

Bobby Jones knows all too well that he does not have overpowering stuff, even though he leads the NL in victories.

Jones won his fourth consecutive decision, pitching the New York Mets past the Colorado Rockies, 3-1, Saturday at New York.

Jones (7-2) gave up seven hits in eight innings, striking out four and walking three. He beat the Rockies for the second time this season, and extended his scoreless streak to a career high-tying 18 innings before Andres Galarraga homered in the eighth.

"I know I don't have great pitches, but the thing that has got me to where I am is knowing how to pitch," Jones said. "I have confidence I can throw any pitch where I want it to go.

"My thoughts are to try to think along the line of a hitter and what he's expecting me to throw. It's a case of trying to outguess him, and so far I've done pretty well."

Jones is not overly impressed with his seven victories.

"I don't pay attention to statistics," Jones said. "It's way to early in the year. In the last few seasons there has been nothing to play for in September. I'm hoping that my good start will help change that this season.

"Right now there is a big gap between Atlanta and Florida and us and it's important to start closing in now rather than trying to do it in the stretch."

The Mets have won five of their last seven and 13 of their last 19.

John Franco pitched the ninth for his 12th save, retiring Eric Young on a fly that shortstop Rey Ordonez caught over-his-shoulder with runners on first and second for the final out.

Florida 11, Pittsburgh 1--The Marlins won their sixth consecutive game as pitcher Pat Rapp homered for one of their season-high 19 hits at Pittsburgh.

The Marlins, nine games over .500 for the first time in their five-year history, have won the first two games of Manager Jim Leyland's three-game homecoming to Pittsburgh.

Bobby Bonilla, also formerly of the Pirates, had two doubles among his three hits and Edgar Renteria, who is batting .500 in the series, added a two-run single.

Rapp (3-2) hadn't won in five starts overall. He was 0-3 with an 8.00 earned-run average in five career appearances against the Pirates until shutting them out on three hits for six innings.

Rapp also hit his first homer in 216 career at-bats.

San Francisco 4, Chicago 1--Rick Wilkins, who entered the game as a replacement for injured Damon Berryhill, hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to lead the Giants at Chicago.

Wilkins' third homer followed a leadoff walk to Mark Lewis and came off Amaury Telemaco (0-3), who had been working on a two-hit shutout. Jeff Kent hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Mel Rojas to give the Giants a three-run cushion.

That was plenty for Mark Gardner (5-1), who won his fifth consecutive decision, matching a career best. He gave up seven hits, walked none and struck out seven in eight innings. Rod Beck pitched the ninth for his NL-leading 14th save.

Chicago shortstop Shawon Dunston returned after a game's absence with a bruised right hand and had three hits.

Atlanta 11, St. Louis 6--One night after being no-hit for 8 2/3 innings by the Cardinals' Alan Benes, the Braves broke loose for 19 hits--five by Kenny Lofton--at Atlanta.

John Smoltz (5-3), whose scheduled start was pushed back one day because of flu, had two hits to lift his batting average to .435. Jeff Blauser added three hits, including a two-run homer.

"Tonight we were hitting them where they weren't," said Ryan Klesko, who had three hits. "With this offense, it's hard to keep us quiet for more than one game at a time."

Lofton went five for five, giving him a major league-leading 66 hits. He tied a career high with his third five-hit game of the season and fourth of his career.

Blauser's sixth home run began the scoring in the second inning against Matt Morris (1-2).

Smoltz gave up five hits, including consecutive home runs by Micah Franklin and Ron Gant in the sixth inning. He struck out seven and walked none in seven innings.

Philadelphia 4, Houston 2--Curt Schilling gave up three hits and struck out 11 in eight innings but it was his hit that helped the Phillies break open a tie game in the seventh inning at Philadelphia.

Kevin Stocker led off the inning with a single, and with Houston's infield expecting a bunt, Schilling singled up the middle.

Gregg Jefferies beat out a bunt to load the bases before Mickey Morandini lifted a sacrifice fly.

"We all have confidence in him when he's pitching," Philadelphia Manager Terry Francona said. "He just gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on."

Schilling (6-3) walked three and raised his major-league leading strikeout total to 79.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result James Lofton Atlanta 5 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, triple Win Tony Gwynn San Diego 3 for 4, two RBIs, run, stolen base Win Carlos Baerga New York 3 for 4, 2 RBIs, 3 singles Win Bobby Bonilla Florida 3 for 4, 2 doubles, single, RBI Win

*--*

PITCHING

*--*

Player Team Performance Team's Result Bobby Jones New York 8 innings, 1 run, 7 hits, 4 strikeouts Win Mack Gardner San Francisco 8 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts Win

*--*

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